Since I was very, very young, I always knew who I wanted to be as I grew up. I knew exactly what I wanted to do, even if it did change occasionally as I grew older.
I considered being a film director, an astronaut, a singer, a hairdresser and, most of all, a writer. However, being a novelist felt unattainable – who would pay for me to write about what I love?
From the age of 18 onwards, I wanted to be a music writer. Why? Because I loved music, and I loved writing. Plus, that could turn into a career — right?
Being a music journalist became my dream, and it seemed like the perfect match.
First, I did what I do best: I practised. I started writing in two different languages (for Italian publications and in English for my online blog). I would spend days and days listening to records, writing after University classes, and going to questionable gigs and friendly neighbour festivals.
I read the whole history of rock and roll, and got my very own version of a fast-track training experience in music. A few years later, I moved from my native Italy to the UK, and I started applying my social media skills, and writing to help a handful of record labels with their PR, all whilst working in a restaurant and writing on the side.
I was so clear about my path, and even if it meant a lot of unpaid work, I knew I was getting closer. I interviewed intentional artists, and shook hands with some of my idols. For eight years, all I desperately wanted was a lucky break.
One day, that lucky break came to me in the form of an internship for a PR company in London. At the same time, I got accepted for a paid internship as a community manager for an event start-up.
I decided to move from sunny Somerset, and head to the big city, working multiple jobs (and internships) whilst cultivating my big dream as a music journalist and publicist.
After a few months of filling spreadsheets and updating webpages, nothing really came out of it.
Until I was given a choice.
The struggle of choosing between your passion and your future
Life can be ironic sometimes — I definitely see the irony when I look back at the week that I got offered two opportunities.
I could follow my dream and become a full time paid intern for the agency for six months, or I could take a junior position as social and community manager for the event start-up.
I could not sleep for an entire week. The second option meant better pay, a better position, and more hands on training on the marketing aspects of running a business. But still, I had a dream, and for the first time people were recognising that I had potential.
For the first time in my life, I did not follow the life plan I had so carefully drafted for myself, and I went with my gut, against all of the odds.
As you may have guessed, I am not a music journalist or a PR person.
I said no to my lucky break, knowing that if I was meant to become an award-winning journalist, I would find a way.
That job I took lasted a short-lived nine months (start-up life means that budgets can sometimes be brutal). Those nine months taught me everything I know and believe in about resilience, leadership, marketing, and growth. Those nine months also had me in a terrible job where I was not recognised or acknowledged for my experience. I despised it much that I ended up starting my own business(es).
The biggest lesson I learned
Some passions are meant to stay passions. Sometimes the best thing you can do when it comes the things you love is not pursue them as a career path.
My gut was telling me not to follow my dream and push myself in another direction. I am so happy I followed that feeling in my tummy and went for it.
I thought my dream was to be a music journalist because I wanted to make an impact in people’s lives, but the truth is that what I really wanted was to make an impact in people’s lives with my writing. Letting go of who I thought I should become allowed me to become the real me.
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