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Personal Legend Series: Just Do It!

Jennifer Mejia

Finding out your personal legend may not be the hardest step. It is the first step and it may take time to do, but personally, I think the hardest step is actually pursuing it. I urge you to read my previous posts Personal Legend Series: My Journey and Personal Legend Series: Passion to understand the process I went through to find and pursue mine. When I decided to finally pursue my passion, I was in a place where I had nothing left to lose.

The Semester After Student Teaching

The fact that I had not graduated, didn’t have a job, and had no clue what I was going to do with my life didn’t hit me until the day I returned to Chicago from a mission trip to Panama in June 2010. I became a teacher’s assistant at the local high school in August and by the end of September found myself jobless again! I got fired after I had accidentally been late one time – a little extreme if you ask me, but such is life. I started working at Target as a seasonal flow team member almost immediately and for the rest of the Fall semester I worked part time; barely making enough money to pay rent. It was a VERY tough time in my life!

I was never the type to dwell on something too long and dwelling on misery or anything less than my potential was not going to be the first time. So I decided to go back to school in the Spring of 2011. As I mentioned in my previous post, my original idea of finishing school didn’t quite work out. Thus, I switched my major and decided to go to graduate school to help me prepare in the field I wanted to get into, Nonprofit. I struggled with deciding when to apply for graduate school due to my not “graduate school worthy” GPA. I had considered being a student at large for a semester, but after speaking with NIU’s Director of the Latino Resource Center, I decided to go ahead and apply to attend as a graduate student for Fall 2011. By the grace of God, I got in!

I think that I knew what my passion was since 2008, I just stuck with what I was comfortable doing and so close to accomplishing. Once that was gone, I was scared of actually doing what I knew in my heart I was meant to do. I kept giving excuses and trying to avoid things. Even now I am still scared half the time when I have to make decisions regarding my personal legend and my career. A lot of it has to do with the fact that at one point I was in a place that I NEVER want to be in again: lost! But when you have nothing to lose, what is the worst that can happen? Fear will always try to stop you from the thing that you are destined to pursue. With that in mind,  I try not to let it stop me from doing anything that I know in my heart I should be doing.

Advice and Tips to get you started!

I conclude this personal legend series with these tips to help you get started. But realize that finding your personal legend may take time – and that is okay! Be aware that actually pursuing it may be the hardest and scariest thing you will do, but don’t let that stop you because the end result will be far greater than what you expect! Take a chance, you owe it to yourself!

  1. Self-reflect: What is important to you? What are you passionate about? Regardless of money or job security, what is the one thing you would want to do for the rest of your life? What makes you happy?
  2. Meditate: Once you have figured out what you are truly passionate about, meditate on it! Imagine yourself doing it. Do you see yourself doing it forever or just temporarily? If forever, write it down!
  3. Plan it out: Find out what will help you pursue it. Do you need a specific degree? Do you need specific training? Internship experience? The plan doesn’t have to be down to the tee. My plan was to get my master’s – which is two years – I’m still planning the next steps.
  4. NIKE: Now just do it! Do not let fear, comfort, and complacency stop you! Remind yourself of your end goal constantly to reinforce and motivate yourself. Know that it takes a brave and courageous person to pursue their passion and their dreams. Have a little faith, you will succeed! I know this because I am succeeding.

Photo taken from: Pictures & Jokes

I urge you to start finding your personal legend because if not now then when? Life is too short to procrastinate! If you have found your personal legend and have pursued it or are trying to pursue it, let me know by commenting below. I would love to help you and encourage you along the way! Go get ‘em tiger – well in the case of the picture, lion!


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