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June 12, 2010


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Cecilia Garrett

I can't wait to see the evolution of your blog! I know that you have much to share with us, and I've been really identifying parts of my life where I haven't identified what I want because I felt like it meant that I was giving up another possibility that might be better, or maybe not. I have only recently realized that my decision NOT to go back to college was based as much on fear ("I don't know what I want to do when I grow up") as it was on financial reasons.

But I've been thinking about what I want to do to contribute to my family financially and whether I really want to do that, or if it is a societal push. I decided that I DO want to contribute but not if it takes me away from my home for extended periods of times. I want my children to have positive memories from their growing years of being with their mother who wasn't stressed out constantly by caring for them and trying to be outside of the home to work at the same time.

I'm not sure that going back to school right now is in the cards or not, but at least I know what I want to do. WRITE! (from home, of course! LOL)

Yea! I'm so excited!

Ariane Benefit, M.S.Ed.

Thank you so much for your supportive feedback!

You are not in alone in not "knowing" what you want to be when you grow up. I used to beat myself so much for all the "evolving" I did which I used to think of as "why can't I stick to just one career or one type of work?"

When I finally gave myself permission to think of myself as a "renaissance" woman and my career as an exploration of life itself...my entire sense of self-worth transformed. I was not just "allowed" to continuously learn and reinvent myself as I integrated my learning - I had "right" and maybe even a responsibility to do so!

After all, what good is it to learn and grow if you don't change? Learning is defined as changing. If you don't take your new insights and skills and incorporate and use them in what you do...what was the point?

the thing is your life purpose can remain steady...no matter what you actually do at any given time in your life. I realized that purpose can be satisfied in many ways. If it can't, it's not really a "Purpose" for example...part of my "purpose" is to make a positive difference in the world. To alleviate suffering and contribute to empowering people to develop the skills need to move toward a more fulfilling life.

Everything I've ever done in my career has been an expression of that. From teaching, to writing, to managing projects to coaching the people that worked for me, to helping my friends. Even before college when I worked as a live-in nanny for single low-income moms in exchange for a place to live...I always had that underlying "drive" to share and teach and uplift.

I wish I'd known then that there is no way to shortcut the path to "finding your calling"...I wish I'd known that your "calling" can be something than unfolds and blossoms over time and that NO experience is wasted if you learn from it.

So keep learning,keep writing and trust that your purpose will reveal itself to you when you are ready to see it...even if you can't articulate it right now...it is THERE! : )


Hello Ariane,

I love your blog and your approach, and your idea that those with ADD or ADHD do their best work when "inspired" - I really feel like that, and have learned, better than before - to anticipate periods of not-knowing, and realize that actually DOing any new task or set of tasks, starts with a period of confusion, but when I keep approaching it, making time to approach it when rested, after a few times, I start to have some ideas about how to handle it.

I also love very much, your blog on, "How do I know what I want" - As someone advocating for my youngest brother who has Brain Injury and Autism, I have been SO frustrated over time, with the approach of science driven social service system, who send in new people over and over and over, to always look for answers by asking HIM "What do you want". They have no idea of the complexity involved in that question, which you outline very well, and especially for him, living in restricted worlds, all they are really seeking is something to fit onto their standard form, that they can then move on to planning - but the question itself was wrong and the choices do not reflect his actual situation, only the thought of the moment, or what he thinks is expected by the interviewer. I find it difficult to advocate for him, when this process repeats itself and is legitimized by the helping services system. Cassie Quinlan

Ariane Benefit, M.S.Ed.

Hi Cassie,

I can only imagine how difficult it is for you to advocate for your brother and deal with all those new people every time. Please remind yourself EVERY day that you deserve lots of credit for EVERY little bit of progress you make. Remember that you deserve just as much care and advocacy as your brother does. I truly hope you have a support system that nourishes and replenishes your spirit.

Thanks for taking time out to provide me with support and support....it means so much to me to hear from readers that my work helps them in some way...that's what I'm here for! Having my contribution recognized and appreciated is what motivates me to keep going through all challenges of running the business end of things.

Thank you : )

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