UNITED STATES—With a new year brings new opportunities. I know I’m not the only person in this boat. Let’s all say it: 2020 was one hell of a year, it was challenging, stressful, burdensome and left so many Americans with such levels of anxiety, you could bottle it up in a jar if you wanted to. The biggest thing that 2020 taught me was that change is inevitable and that things can always transpire that you least expect. What does that mean?

Opportunities may sometimes arise when you least expect them, especially when it comes to our jobs or careers. I’m a firm believer that sometimes you have to take a gamble if you want to see those aspirations that are always on your mind come to fruition. If there is anything people know about me when it comes to work, it is that I am loyal to a fault, but at the same time I have a saying in life that I tend to live by, “Loyalty does not pay the bills.”

Being loyal to someone says a lot about your character, but that doesn’t always help your pocket book, so you have to consider options that may be available to you. I had so many family members retire at the end of 2020, I wouldn’t say I was surprised, but I was surprised. It had me thinking, gosh, I wish I could be sitting in their shoes. It soon hit me; I’m tired of working multiple jobs. I’ve been doing so since 2007, that’s 13 years people and my body is aging and so much to the point that I can’t sleep at night, I’m stressed endlessly and I’m ready for change.

I want to focus my energy on something that is fulfilling, doesn’t have me worried day to day if I’m going to have a job (if the Coronavirus has taught us anything, we can all lose our job at the snap of a finger), and something I’m passionate about. One thing I knew growing up was that I had three career trajectories: teacher, lawyer or filmmaker. If I had to rank them without a doubt being a filmmaker ranks at the top, but I’ve had very little time to delve into that arena. Why? Work, I’m working all the time and I’m doing so little to chase after that goal.

It might be a direct result of my inability to commit, but that might be a direct result of the minimal amount of free time I have after work, I’m exhausted, I’m burnt out and when I have a moment of solitude I want to rest. That is NOT an excuse, and this last year has taught me that more than anything. Tomorrow is not promised and if there is something you want to achieve you have to go for it. You might be scared, you might have uncertainty, but I’d rather take a leap of faith and know I at least ‘tried’ versus just wondering that ‘what if’ so many people have lingering when they don’t go after things that they should have aimed for.

It already started with the New Year with me writing more on a personal level, putting ideas and thoughts that come across my mind into my journal. I’m actively doing what I said I would do and if I keep pushing myself I know things will only get better in due time. With that said, the opportunity for a career that I least expected, to teach has come to light. I always told myself if I ever taught it would be at the collegiate level because I feel you have a bit more control over the material you teach young minds depending on the course that you teach.

I may have an opportunity to teach undergraduate students in the coming months and I am truly weighing my options. If you were to ask me 5 years ago would I consider teaching, the answer would be no without hesitation. Now, that is not the case. I feel like when an opportunity presents itself it is a sign and you have to consider if, even if you don’t know if you’re going to do it. You don’t want to live with that regret when it comes to career opportunities, asking yourself that long lingering question: what could have been?

I know I’m a great orator when it comes to public speaking because I have been told that time and time again, even though on most days I don’t honestly believe it. Then factor in the notion of getting the opportunity to teach people on a subject matter that you are passionate about and you have a keen level of knowledge about it, things cannot get any better can they America?

For 2021, I’m all about choices and options; I’m no longer going to be okay with complacency as I have been in the past. I want to do things that bring challenges to my life, fulfill me, pays well, but also leaves me with a sense of purpose. For me when it comes to a career change it’s all about passion; if the passion is there it makes it all easier for one to make the switch because I know I’m doing something that will fulfill me in way that I cannot describe with words.