I have been hesitant about posting this blog for a long time. Since I turned professional two years ago, it did not seem appropriate to share. I had this image in my mind of needing to be a perfect young professional athlete that checked all the boxes and carried no baggage. I tried to fit into a box and not challenge the status quo.. essentially the opposite of what I strive to do. I have always been a very private person, so displaying my true feelings on social media platforms is a challenge. However, I think the overall message of my story could benefit many young people like me who are struggling to find their path. Thus, brew your favorite cup of coffee or tea and enjoy..
Written: July 2020 , Published May 2021
Who am I? This is a question I find myself struggling with lately. 18 is not an easy age. I feel lost as I question what I truly want to do in my lifetime. What career do I chose? I have so many interests yet I feel stuck. Ever since I was younger my sole focus has been horseback riding, specifically showjumping. It's all I have ever known and for the past five years all I have done. It's what most of you associate me with. Almost every new person I meet looks at me and says, "Oh you are the esteemed horse rider. It's so amazing what you do. I see posts of your horses all the time on social media. How are the horses?" I often feel like showjumping is the only path for me. The path everyone expects me to take. The path I have been on ever since I was 8 years old. The sport I have poured my whole heart into and sacrificed so much for. I am sure you are thinking.. where is she going with this? The path I have always been so sure of... until now. Again, who am I? I feel like this sport is the only thing I have been. There are so many more interests I have in life and I struggle weighing how to approach them going forward. So who am I outside of showjumping?
I definitely think of myself as a creative person. I have always loved writing and expressing myself. Social media and fashion have been a great outlet for me to explore my creativity as well as web design. From an early age I marketed myself as part of my showjumping path. This included designing my whole website (annabellasanchez.com), managing all my social media, controlling my content/videos, wearing certain clothing, working with brands, and sketching my logo. This peeked my interest in marketing, my current major as an undergraduate student at New York University. I question whether I chose it because I am comfortable and familiar with marketing or because I truly enjoy it. Nonetheless, I know I chose it because it allows for creativity as a business major.
I realize that part of young adulthood involves not knowing what you want to do, however I cannot help but feel a bit stressed. I know some people do not believe in zodiac signs, but I certainly do. I am an August Virgo which means.. well.. let me break this down for you straight off of astrology-zodiac-signs.com.
"Strengths: Loyal, analytical, kind, hardworking, practical (check for all)
Weaknesses: Shyness, worry, overly critical of self, all work and no play (mostly check for all)
Virgo likes: Animals, healthy food, books, nature, cleanliness (mostly check for all)
Virgo dislikes: Rudeness, asking for help, taking center stage (check for all)"
Now as someone who did not believe in zodiac signs and saw this, I was a bit swayed. Fast forward to today: I have a horoscope app and follow three different Virgo Instagram accounts.. oops. Anyway, Virgos tend to be very planned out and analytical so not knowing what I want to do makes me anxious. I am working on accepting the unknown and relaxing instead of constantly worrying. I tend to try to control my life by overthinking everything which is essentially counterproductive. I just finished an audiobook called "Take Control of Your Life" where the author Mel states something that has stuck with me. She said that overthinking leads to not doing. The more you think about something, the less likely you are to take action because you make it bigger and bigger in your head. For example, let's use changing careers as an example. The thought process often looks like this: What will people think? How will I explain it? What do I tell my family? What if I make the wrong choice? What if five years from now I am unhappy? The questions become endless as your mind runs on and on. But honestly, what is so hard about changing your career at a young age. Truly, it is simple. It is a choice. Your mind makes it hard. One quote I have always loved from Scott Fitzgerald...
"For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”-Scott Fitzgerald
( I ordered this quote for my dorm room freshman year where I placed it on the wall as a great reminder. Decor idea: Wall Art Idea - AP )
I guess where I am in my life is that I am trying to find my path. I strive to take one that adheres to Scott Fitzgerald's quote above. I attended University of Miami last fall, and in a business seminar they asked people what they wanted (to be) in life? Many people answered the usual: to have a high salary job, to have a family, to be a lawyer, etc. Do you know what I answered? I answered... to be happy. I still remember feeling everyones' heads turn. But why was my answer so rare? What is the purpose of life if not to enjoy it. Why take that high paying job if it makes you unhappy. Many people say that they want a big salary. This is often because they believe money leads to happiness. They do not understand life.
I have found my mind wandering to different careers as I entered my freshman year of college last fall. To name some interests: architecture/ interior designer, dermatology, surgery, and small animal homeopathic veterinarian. Recents interests I am currently pursuing are writing via this blog and influencer marketing. They both nurture creativity, expression, individuality, and fashion.
So here I am, someone who many associate with one thing.. a showjumping athlete. Someone who many expect to already know what career they want. Someone who seems like they have it all figured out. Yet I type this, utterly unsure about life, trying to find my way and explore other interests. I believe you do not find yourself until you truly get lost. Once you let yourself go, let the expectations in your mind stop dictating, let everyones expectations be just that, and let all the voices in your mind stop questioning.. you will find yourself.. your true raw self. Your mind will be uninfluenced, your heart unswayed, and your body free. The purest form of yourself.. you. Here I am.. someone who has shown you that it's okay to feel lost and unsure. Someone who has shown you that I am still finding myself through creation.
"Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.
Henry David Thoreau"
Written: July 2020 , Published May 2021