Ever wonder how you ended up doing what it is you’re doing today? Is it destiny? Fate? Luck? Personally, I’m not sure, but I do know that every single person reading this has questioned a career choice they’ve made at some point in their past. These days, wondering if “The grass is always greener” seems to be a common sentiment among working professionals. So if every once in a while, I too start thinking along the lines of “What if…?”, I try to cut myself some slack.

Growing up, I always wanted to be a veterinarian. Animals, especially cats and dogs, were my passion. I had more stuffed animals than I could count, and was forever bringing home lost or abandoned pets. I wrote my eighth grade career report on veterinary medicine and always had an animal in my life. I volunteered for humane societies, wrote about animals constantly, and worked as an animal issues specialist for several years.

Knowing all this, how is it that I ended up working in a profession having nothing to do with dogs and cats?

I was never struck by lightning out of the blue. Nothing abruptly shifted my professional focus. No single reason caused me to strike out impulsively in search of a new adventure. Rather, I forged ahead on a new career path for many individual reasons, both professional and personal in nature. I went to law school, passed the Bar, and now, although I still spend much of my personal time volunteering with and writing about animals (in order to maintain my regular “pet fix”), my professional life is spent in an entirely new and different manner than I originally imagined.

I never thought I would end up where I am today, but I love this new road I’ve taken. Because of my own circuitous career path, I’ve learned it’s better to make peace with your destiny (or fate, or luck…), rather than to fight it. I also now realize that it’s perfectly understandable to question your professional choices every once in a while, as long as you’re not obsessing over your answers and as long as you're willing to take the leap towards change, if change feels right.

Still, when I bring my kitty to his annual veterinary exam, there sometimes comes a moment when, after seeing gleaming medical instruments aligned on a counter, or hearing a cacophony of nervous woofs and meows from behind closed doors, I’ll feel an ephemeral, but distinct, pang in my gut. And sometimes, along with this pang, I’ll catch myself thinking, “What if…?”

Want to practice intention this year? Come to our Intentions & Habit Building Workshop on January 20th!

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Kelly E. Connolly is an Eastern Attorney who writes on the side. Her expertise in animal issues has led to interviews on television and the radio, and with The New York Times, USA Today, and CNN. She shares her home with an elderly, mischievous cat and a goofy, misbehaved dog. Contact her at Polkadottedpoppy@Outlook.com or on Facebook.

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