This will be a fairly short entry (hopefully...I tend to get carried away).
One of my bosses read my blog and offered me some advice yesterday. She told me to think back to the things I enjoyed doing when I was five years old. Her theory is that the things you enjoyed then are probably still true today and can provide some insight into what you may want to do with your life now!
She also noted that becoming an actual tiger was probably out. Think general, that's the idea. I liked to play dress up. I liked to make up stories for my Barbie-dolls. I liked to pet kitties. I liked magical things (like fairies and turning into a tiger). I liked to be the center of attention, posing for photos, putting on plays in the living room and just generally being the loudest person in the house. I liked to draw and write and read (granted, these were likes I developed a little after the age of five...but I think they're still valid).
So what can I do with this laundry-list of likes? Start thinking. How can I combine these pleasures into a cohesive life? Maybe I could be a novelist or an actress or a playwright. Maybe I can move out of the spotlight and still participate in these things, work for a magazine or a theatre or a publishing company.
This new insight is by no means the end of the journey, but it has given me fresh eyes to look through!
I recommend this exercise for anyone who wants to rethink their career plans. It is insightful and just plain fun, reminiscing about all the silly things you did as a young child when all the world was one giant possibility.
The other thing my boss mentioned that was very encouraging was: she didn't get it right the first time...or the second time...or the third. And that's OK. She loves what she does now and that is what matters. Don't despair just because you haven't figure it out at 19.