Self Doubt, Magazine Dreams, and Baby Steps

Last week I went to the oral surgeon (wisdom teeth are my newest enemies) and he asked me what I wanted to do once I finished school. I told him that I planned to complete an education degree at Sydney University and become an English and History teacher, because in that moment, that’s exactly what I wanted to do with myself. 
As anyone who has ever read this blog would know, I have wanted to work in magazines for as long as I can remember. There was never a Plan B. I started this blog a week after my thirteenth birthday to get my name out there, and began work experience just after I turned fifteen. I have spent the last four years doing everything in my power to become known as a journo-in-waiting. 

And then I started doubting myself. 

Suddenly my brain decided to think on the negative side of, well, everything. It started to remind me continuously of the small number of mag jobs that exist, the high ATARs required to get into media courses, and hey, just for fun, how much better everyone is than me when it comes to coming up with story ideas, and you know, actually writing. I became utterly convinced that I would never make it, so my brain took the next step and began to think, why even try? I stopped reading magazines. I began listening to my classmates when they told me that my future careers wouldn’t benefit the world and that I should rethink what I wanted to do. I looked into other career paths and decided teaching would be perfect for me. I could further my love of English, and who wouldn’t love every weekend free, twelve weeks of holidays a year, and a set hour work day? 

You guys may have noticed my blogging has decreased over the last month or two. Blame it on the self doubt. My inspiration ran dry. I couldn’t think of anything to blog about, nor could I even make myself slightly motivated to try and come up with something. I could no longer see a point in trying to produce something quality, because, let’s face it, it’s not like it was going to get me anywhere. 

As far as I was concerned, I was just another girl with journo dreams. One of many with her sights set on the top of a masthead, but just one of many who was going to end up bitterly disappointed.

Today I got the new issue of Dolly magazine in the mail, and instead of throwing it onto the ever increasing pile of unopened magazines that have begun to accumulate on the floor of my room, I decided to flick through it.  As soon as I opened the glossy cover, I was hit with a wave of emotion. I suddenly remembered everything I loved about magazines. No matter how hard I pushed them into a box and out of my mind, they were a part of me. 

Maybe I won’t get the ATAR needed to get into a media course (the fact that I’m writing this instead of studying for my exams which begin on Wednesday is a fair indication that I’m not likely to). Maybe I won’t ever get an internship. Maybe I will never get my break, or my foot in the door. Maybe I will end up a replica of my parents – teaching in a small town high school, married to a colleague, happy, but frustrated with the vast majority of my students. Maybe magazines will never be a part of my life the way younger me expected them to be. Or maybe they will. The thing is, if I give up now, it will never happen. If I focus on teaching, I will never end up a journalist. If I don’t try, nothing will ever happen. Sure, maybe I won’t be good enough, but at the end of the day, it’s trying that counts. I can’t expect my dreams to come true without effort, nor can I expect them to come true if I flee at the first sign of doubt or rejection. I don’t want to find myself in twenty years watching students talk about their dreams for the future and feel the bitter pang of regret because I let my dreams pass me by. 
God has a plan for my life, and I need to learn to trust in that plan. I hope it includes magazines, because I just feel so at home whether I’m reading them, or on work experience at one of their offices, or following a journo on twitter and reading all about their exciting days. 

I have a long way to go (with the HSC being the first hurdle I must face) but self-doubt has never been a helpful friend. The journey to overcoming self doubt is possibly longer than the journey to my mag dreams (or maybe the two are actually one), and at the moment I’m taking baby steps. But even baby steps will one day allow you to reach your destination, so I hope you stick with me as I take some shaky first steps towards mine. 

frangipani princess xoxo

6 thoughts on “Self Doubt, Magazine Dreams, and Baby Steps

  1. Oh how I cried as I read this post. Just what I needed. As a magazine lover yet a capable, intelligent student, I got sick of being told by my own self-doubting mind that I was heading in the wrong direction. Even though my passion is science, even though I spend my (very little) spare time writing about mindless makeup products, even though I love magazines more than chocolate, it doesn't matter, because I'll get where I want to be. Thankyou so much Frangipani princess, and whatever you end up doing, you'll be an inspiration to so many people, including myself.

  2. This was quite inspiring. I've been doubting myself as well. Also, Sydney University is really nice but the ATAR is ridiculously high. (I'm assuming you want to do the Media and Communications course?) I'm sure you can get it though! 😀

  3. This sounds a lot like me! I'm at Syd uni now, (not studying media) and I gave up on my mag aspirations for a while. But now I have decided to go for it again (i just have a back up career ready as well) :)good luck!!

  4. Good on you for realising what really makes you happy! I think work/career has to be a true love, as it's where you spend the majority of your time – you at least want to be passionate about it. Keep up with the blogging, work experience, study and apply for internships when you can, and you'll go far. Gabby x

  5. I feel exactly the same way! In year ten, I'm being bombarded with questions about what I want to do with my life. Even before I started school, I have been writing, and recently I've found the clarity that that is what I want to do with my life. Writing is more than a hobby or a career choice- it's my passion, it's how I express myself. And it wasn't until a serious discussion with my parents the other night that I truly realised how badly I want that dream to come true. And I know that no matter what happens- even if I don't get the OP (Queensland uni thing) I need to get into a specific course I want to do, there are always ways around it, and it will be the same for you. You can do it, no matter what tries to stand in your way. Write like this, write what people want to read; what will change people's lives. That's why we write, because words can change the world.

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