Melanie Aksamit and who am I?

I want to make monsters: How showing up and taking the time to learn what you want can spark a beautiful, passion-centered journey.
Melanie Aksamit and who am I?
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If I could pick one theme from this season of the Hectic Podcast so far, it would be this: <tweet-link>Knowing yourself is the first and most important part of finding your path in life.<tweet-link>

For so many of our guests, in this season and others, their current pursuits, passions, and projects have transformed since the start of their careers. And, though we separate who you are and what you do at Hectic, I think your career path is where many journeys begin.

Most of us have been thinking about work for a long time. From elementary-school questions about what we want to be when we grow up (and I LOVED the answer that this week’s guest, Melanie June, gave as a kid) to deciding what life will hold after high school, our futures were defined by the job title we sought.

As so many of our guests have shown, however, young people typically don’t know enough about the world and themselves to make the best choice. Even worse, there isn’t a lot of grace or permission for those who want to change direction later. Fear, shame, and feelings of inadequacy keep us trapped in the choices we made.

If you are a freelancer or entrepreneur, you’ve already broken many of these chains. You’ve forged a new path. 

But it wasn’t easy. 

Some people, such as Pandaemonium founder Alice Armitage, experienced a traumatic loss that reminded them that the life they were living wasn’t the one they wanted. Others, as Melanie shared in this week’s episode, needed a not-quite-mid-life crisis to accept that they wanted something different.

Or, if you’re like me, freelancing was just another career path. It wasn’t until you had moments of doubt, made mistakes, or found someone who was doing it better that you started to understand that you could shape work into something you wanted.

That said, “what you want” can be a fickle beast. It doesn’t always make sense, particularly to other people. Often, it’s not the actual work or path that you want, but the benefits and opportunities it offers. You may not love dealing with people’s disorganization during tax season, for example, but it may be worth it if this work allows you to take several months off during the rest of the year.

The more you know about yourself, your priorities, and what drives you, the easier it is to understand what you want out of life. Some of the ways you can dig into this understanding include:

  • Seeing a counselor - Professional mental health support is less about spilling your guts to a stranger and much more about learning why you operate the way you do. As you work with your counselor, you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself and learn how to change the things that don’t fit the person you want to be.
  • Learning your personality type or enneagram - You shouldn’t base your life on the results of these tests, but they can offer insight into your needs, instincts, and worldview. There are endless podcasts, articles, and resources on personality psychology, so find an option that can reveal a helpful way to use this information.
  • Talk to someone you trust - When Melanie knew she needed a major life change, she turned to her mom for advice. We often forget it (or don’t want to believe it), but our loved ones know us better than we think. They can also help us see things that we can’t find on our own. If you have a parent, mentor, or friend that you trust, ask for their help. You don’t have to follow their suggestions, but the conversations may offer the clarity you need.

Finally, once you can grasp what you want from life and how best to pursue it, don’t forget that you can always adjust your course or change your mind. People are always changing and growing, so it’s only natural that your path will evolve with you. As long as you stay in tune with yourself and give yourself the grace to try, fail, and try again, you can keep pursuing the life you’re longing for.

Get the full story here to meet special effects makeup artist Melanie June, learn how she found her best life at the age of 29, and get a fascinating peek into her world.

You can connect with Melanie on her website or on Instagram, where you can find a behind-the-scenes look at what she’s working on.

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Emily Finlay
Emily Finlay is a freelance copywriter who thrives working with a great team and moonlights as an amateur home baker. Throughout her career, she’s had the pleasure of working with clients of all sizes, from local businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Aunt to eight nieces and nephews, she loves freelancing for the time it allows her to spend with her family and friends. When she’s not puzzling over the perfect word, she enjoys taking long walks, geeking out over her many interests, and trying new decorating techniques for cakes and cookies.
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