Change of course

By Tori Hopp - 11:17 AM

I have always felt like I have been a failure. I know deep in my heart that I am not and that it's just my insecurities but it's hard to ignore. But if you are successful at something then change to something else are you really a failure?

Let's start from the beginning. I never really knew what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be an archaeologist but the thought of that really scared me so I decided not to do it. I really didn't want to go to college but I felt like I needed to. It was something that was expected of me.

I went to a college about three hours away without much of a plan. I was taking random classes and actually enjoyed it but I couldn't find a job and quickly ran out of money so I returned home. That was my first failure moment. I felt like I was letting people down by leaving college. In the end it worked out better for me but at the time I was so afraid of what people would think.

When I came home I was without a job for a while so I needed to do something to make money. I started a cake and cookie decorating business with a friend that actually took off. It was surprising since I was not much of a cook. I was bored one day and made some sugar cookies and people liked them. I would make batches and send them with my mom to work. People would then call and want me to make them for events and I eventually got a job from it. Things were looking up.

Once I started my new job I didn't have time to really work on cake and cookie orders. I was actually pretty sad about this because it was fun and I liked being a business owner. My friend and I talked about opening a bakery but I got too busy and that dream went out the window.

It was at this time that I started to talk about going back to school for culinary. I found out that my employer would pay for me to go back so I said why not. Then I realized I didn't like going to college and going back to school cut into my hours at work and I liked working more. So I dropped out again. I was now a few thousands of dollars in debt from school and nothing to show for it. Cue failure number two.

After a few years of working as a cook I decided to try my hand at freelance. I have always liked graphic design and I felt like I was good at it but I didn't pursue it. So I sat down, designed some things and opened an etsy store. Then I got interested in herbal products and making my own bath products. I put a few bath salts in my store and those sold really well. My graphic design wasn't so I switched focus and really got into it. When I got too busy for that even I dropped my etsy store as well.

I was living in a three bedroom home with a roommate and I wasn't really happy. I wasn't sure why but I felt like there was something missing. One day I was online and saw an ad for a college I knew about in high school and looked them up. I submitted an application to go to school for graphic design and got in. I was so excited and ready to start working toward something. I ended up getting a part-time job at the local newspaper working as a graphic artist. I loved the newspaper setting. It was fast paced and there was always something to do.

I was making significantly less at the newspaper than I was as a cook but when they asked if I wanted to go full time I said yes. I don't remember ever really struggling when I took the pay cut but I did move out of the house and into a tiny but beautiful apartment. After a few years there I moved into my Grandmother's basement because I just couldn't afford anything. Then I moved again.

For some reason I got this wild hair to move to a city. I transferred to another newspaper and moved in with a friend. At first, I really enjoyed it but then I was bored. I wasn't doing as much at my new job and I felt like I was lost and alone. I wasn't really making friends (which was a lie and I see that now) so I was depressed. Out of my frustration, I started looking for a job back home.

I got lucky. I found something back home that paid super well and allowed me to move back and still pay my friend rent until he got a better job. I actually liked my new job a lot and it was fun. It was a new challenge but things got complicated pretty fast. I didn't want to quit and honestly, I wish I wouldn't have. I needed insurance because of an infected tooth. You can read about that here. So I quit this great and amazing job and went back to the newspaper.

Do I regret it? Yes but not because I hate the newspaper job. I was finally financially comfortable at the other job and I took a pay cut for insurance. Now I feel stuck; like I don't have a plan and that scares me. I feel even more like a failure since I am almost 30 and back to asking for help with gas. But I feel like big things are coming. My sister always says what do you want to do and I always shrug. I love owning a business and writing so this blog has been a perfect distraction. With the launch of Shop Herbarium I am hoping that I will finally feel like I have succeeded.

In conclusion, you don't have to have everything figured out. If you love something pursue it but you don't have to turn everything into a business. I like graphic design and cooking but it didn't have to be a big business venture. Yes, I still freelance but I have cut down quite a bit so I don't feel like I am drowning. And for cooking? I can do that and post it here and still feel like I have accomplished something. I don't get many readers and that's okay!

This blog is not my main focus but if I decided I wanted it to be a full-time thing I have the option. Options are great. And if you feel lost that's okay too! Just take a deep breath and feel things out. Go work in a clothing store for a while. Go help out at a nonprofit. Do whatever makes you happy and don't focus on the failures.

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