When I was 15, I got my first job just by walking through a parking lot. "Hey, you, do you want a job?"
(It was actually maximally creepy: 2 middle aged men, sitting in a car in a parking lot, calling out to ask a 15-year-old if she wanted a job. My immediate response was, "Ummmm NO." But it turned out to be legit, they were opening an ice cream shop, and it was probably the best job I've ever had.)
So I got my first job entirely by chance, just being in the right place at the right moment, and thus was born the Emily Hassman Theory of Major Life Decisions. EHTMLD for short... just kidding. The theory is, opportunities sometimes just fall in your lap, and when they do, you TAKE IT and just RUN WITH IT.
I have honestly made a lot of life decisions this way.
It has mostly served me well... going with the flow, not overthinking things. I tend to struggle with big (and medium and small-ish) decisions, mostly because I'm convinced that if I can just get *enough data* then the magical One Right Answer will become clear. If I just research more and think more about it, there must be One Right Answer... and I can find it! HA. I wish this were true, man. But it's really not the way life works, especially not the big and important life decisions. So when something falls in my lap, and all I have to do is take it and run with it as hard as I can, that's lovely because I don't have to actually make a decision.
Clearly, there are also some glaring problems with the Emily Hassman Theory of Major Life Decisions :) Like the part where I'm avoiding making real decisions. And the part where I feel like I'll be Doomed Forever if I choose to pass up one of those opportunities that magically falls in my lap. That's a healthy way to think, riiiiight?
The thing I'm finally realizing is that no one is ever going to offer me the things I really, really want—the things that live deep in my heart—unless I first choose the path myself. And actually start down it, and begin the work.
No one is going to say, "Emily, we want to pay you money to be an artist," unless I actually start making art, all the time, for me.
That's how the real magic happens. You work and work and work, and you put yourself out there and seek out opportunities, and you get rejected, and you work some more... and THEN, if you're lucky, some day something will fall in your lap, and you'll take it and "just run with it."
So here's to doing the work, and listening to the whisper of the universe at the same time. Now let's get some more coffee and get to it.