Staying a novice for life - Yanique Bird's blog

Why I’m Staying a Novice for Life


I’m the first to admit that I mostly don’t know what I’m doing. I make it all up as I go along. Or so I thought.

After a very illuminating conversation with a friend, I realized that my decisions, especially where my career (or lack therefore) is concerned, are based on 3 very solid, quite immutable pillars. These are:

  1. My skills (or desired skills)
  2. People I feel drawn to
  3. Problems I feel compelled to solve

I look for opportunities to combine these three elements. I say “lack thereof” when referring to my career because I haven’t followed anything even close to a traditional career path. Without really knowing it, I’d drawn myself a very diferent roadmap. Looking back at it now, especially after sitting down with the intention of giving a young’n some good ol’ fashioned life advice, I now understand why I’ve taken on the things I’ve taken on and let slide the things I have let slide. Ditto for people.

I also learned this: that having the attitude of a novice, even after you’ve amassed a ton of life and work experience, is both an accomplishment and an advantage. In my own case, it was also a complete accident. I didn’t sit and om myself into an attitude of perpetual receptiveness. I just never felt like I knew enough so I constantly sought opportunities to learn. And if that opportunity happened to be a friendship with someone who just oozes some quality I wished I possessed, I’d be all over that too. I love people who love, do and see things that I do not.

Fast forward a decade and whatdoyaknow! Suddenly I’m the kind of person a young’n approaches for life advice. Of course it wasn’t all of a sudden. It was 10 years of actively seeking enriching experiences. A lot of those choices felt like setbacks in the moment. A lot of them were extremely difficult to live. And yet, here I am, better for it having lived and conquered them.

Life is weird. Life is magic. Trust your path.


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