When I was a kid I wanted o be a zoologist. Mostly because I used to watch the Kratt Brothers on Animal Planet and I thought that would be the coolest job ever.
As I got older I wanted to be a few other things. A writer, a manager, an engineer, even a hermit/survivalist/cheese maker. But the one that really stuck was more a spirit than a job. I wanted to fundamentally change the world for the better. That started off in Luxembourg on a one week trip to France back in high school. I said “I want to be a legislator.” So I went to college and studied Political Science and English.
That idea died the minute I started working as a camp counselor. And after a conversation in Einstein Bagels with Hannah that she doesn’t remember, I decided I needed to work in nonprofits.
That’s where I left off college. I went to work (rather successfully) as an intern at the City of Indy. And then came Chattanooga. I followed Hannah there in the pursuit of both our dreams – her in journalism, me in nonprofit. We made it there, but that four month trip changed a lot for me, and for Hannah.
I could not find a job in nonprofits. I worked at Noodles and Co. for just above minimum wage. I applied over and over and slowly found out that intelligence and spirit are not actually enough to make a dream happen.
Hannah got us out of Chattanooga. The direction was from me, but ah got the job in Lafayette. That success alone was one of the most precious I have ever had. It was difficult for its own reasons, but we left the Chattanooga hell hole.
But I was still unemployed. And that’s when the last coffin nail landed on my dream. I couldn’t find a job in nonprofit there either, and instead ended up working for a company I either fail to explain well or just call a staffing agency.
Fast forward almost three years. Hannah and I bought a house we love together. Hannah graduated from her masters degree program this past spring. She also found her passion in museum PR, being basically the best social media manager in the State.
I have received two promotions and done unquantifiable good for some people who need it most. It’s far from perfect, and it comes with its struggles, but I am still moving down my own path. I’m also going to school to pursue something new.
A new dream. My first specific one, in fact. It’s hard to let go of that first dream. It really is.
But what I am coming to realize is that owning your own dream – being intentional about what you actually want – is far more important and special and valuable.
And that is kindof my new journey. So feel free to tag along with me, peruse or whatever.