Over the last few months, I’ve slowly but surely re-realised that I am ambitious. I always knew that I was, but somehow during my long, hard undergrad slog I lost sight of my dreams and determination. It’s safe to say I’ve grabbed them again with both hands.
I got really disillusioned with law somewhere along the line. I didn’t fail anything, but I certainly didn’t apply myself the way I should have – but that’s a lesson in hindsight. I started a law degree in my second year of university because I felt unchallenged and unfulfilled by the Arts program I commenced in 2008. At first I enjoyed law, but it quickly become a source of stress and frustration and I now realise that my plate was simply too full. I was studying Arts/Law full time, was working part time, was Sports Representative on my residential college’s Residents Association which also involved sitting on the Interhall Sports Committee, was writing part time for the student newspaper and I also had a very healthy social life. I don’t regret any of those experiences, because I certainly learnt a lot from each of them. But altogether? Way too much.
I don’t think I ever fully recovered from that year, or worked out how to prioritise properly while I was studying as an undergrad. My role as Sports Rep took over my life in 2009, as my college was very centred around sports and hadn’t lost the Sports Shield in almost a decade. I worked part time out of necessity and because I felt I needed the structure. I loved writing, so that explains the student newspaper, and as for studying? I should have only taken 3 subjects those semesters. Oh well.
And then I took up a part time job in a cinema, which I loved and which also offered a built-in social life that monopolised the rest of my life as well. I wasn’t very good at saying no (or balancing the books) in those days, so I was working wayyy too much and studying wayyy too little. Cue unhappiness with my marks, struggle with the content, and all-round disillusionment with university once again.
But beyond all that, and several quarter life crises and the boys and the break ups and the dramas, I lost the ambition that had always been the fire in my belly. Never mind that I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do – I still don’t. I was and am again, very motivated to go out there and give myself the best shot at excelling at whatever I’m doing. For now, that’s getting my JD and then finding another amazing grad job. Someday down the track, I hope it’s owning my own business. At some point in time, I hope it’s getting my MBA. And there you have it – ambition.
How do you view ambition? x
PS. This post was brought on by reading Gilt Groupe founders Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson’s account of how they founded and expanded their start up from unknown e-tailer, to global e-commerce phenomenon. A seriously inspiring read for anyone looking to start a business, work in e-commerce or fashion, or even digital marketing or strategy.