I’ve always been a dreamer. My dreams are what brought me to all the places I’ve been and all the things I’ve done – and I don’t regret any of them. For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed my life would be filled with the people I love and I would actually live my life – not just have a career. I also dreamed I would live somewhere new and exciting, to get away from Pennsylvania and experience somewhere, something better.
Growing up you’re always asked, what do you want to be when you grow up? From the time you are born, you’re automatically programmed to find a career. That if you don’t find a career, you’re life isn’t worth much. When people would ask me this question, I always had a different answer – photographer, business owner, veterinarian, park ranger – I could never pick just one thing. Deep down, I guess I knew I would never be happy picking only one career for the rest of my life.
So let’s take a look at my story.
I went to a technical high school where I was able to get my Cosmetology license end of senior year, but I always knew that wasn’t the only thing I wanted to do with my life. When it was close to high school graduation, I decided the thing I wanted to do was own a recording studio or become a booking agent, so I decided to go to school for music business. I worked in a salon leading up to the following spring when that music dream took me all the way out to Minneapolis where I spent 2 years completing my degree. I moved back home because the whole time I was so home sick, it was all I could think about. Moving back home I realized, I wasn’t ready for the real world. I went back to the salon and dreamed another dream. 6 months later, I went to college closer to home for marketing. I completed my bachelor’s in three years and loved it. It opened my mind to so many other possibilities and that is when I realized, event planning was what I wanted to do. I interned for a car show company I loved, I joined AMA and put on events for my club, I did everything I could to get more experience and closer to my new dream. Approaching graduation, I planned a road trip – something I always dreamed of doing. So the summer after college, my boyfriend and I escaped from life and went on our crazy 5 week road trip. The best and most amazing experience of my life. Opening my mind to travel made me never want to return to reality. I wanted to stay on the road, but I felt guilted to jump into a career and settle down.
I came back to finding myself accepting a job in Nashville for event planning. I thought my dream had come true, that this was it. In the back of my mind though, I knew that wasn’t true. I was blinded by my dream. My dream of living somewhere new and exciting, my dream of having a successful career.
As the year went by, I realized I was foolish. That dream became a reality and I realized I was miserable. I was angry and stressed all the time and it was all because of my career. The career I dreamt of for so long, was becoming the death of me. The job was so stressful, it made my life miserable. I couldn’t enjoy my evenings with friends and family, I couldn’t enjoy going out on the weekends because I was always working. I realized my dream kept me from the life I really always wanted to live.
Months of self analyzing and having to make some tough major life choices, I realized a place of my past had an opportunity that had been waiting for me. I was just always too self-involved to realize.
Growing up, my second home was Rochester, which also happens to be where I was born. Most of my family lives there and I know the area like the back of my hand. Connections have existed there and I never utilized them because I thought I could figure out something more, something better. What I needed had been in front of me this whole time. By moving to Rochester, we are both closer to family and don’t feel as lost as we had in the big city of Nashville. Now I’m at a job that gives me freedom, where stress does not seem to exist. Somewhere I can go and not feel like my heart is resisting. I may not be living the dream I dreamt long ago, but I am living the dream I’ve dreamt my whole life. The dream where I’m able to spend time with my loved ones, I’m able to travel, I’m able to have hobbies – I’m not just focusing on a career. All the things I’ve always wanted, I’m finally able to do. This isn’t me settling down (that will never truly happen), but this is me feeling comfortable with how my life is – finally.
Note to self: I urge you to be less passionate about the dream that is your career, and be more passionate about the dream to live your life the way YOU want it. Travel, explore, go on adventures – fall in love. You don’t have to be passionate about a career, but you CAN be passionate about life. That is my new dream, to not be so distracted by work, that I forget to live.