Achievement Unlocked…and then?

I’ve had a lot of dreams since I was a kid. First it was to be a movie director, which my parents encouraged by allowing me the use of our video camera at seven- and eight-years-old (very trusting considering how pricey these were back in the day). Then I wanted to move from behind the camera to in-front of it, so my parents paid for an acting lesson during the summer.


Image Credit: someecards

Eventually dreams became plans. I started researching colleges when I was in eighth grade (NERD!) and knew by sophomore year of high school I wanted to study political science. I stood proud, the lone planner among my friends who just looked forward to moving away from home. I was ready for the future!

Except then I found out I could graduate college a year early. WTF? I hadn’t had time to come up with a new plan! WHAT DO I DO? My dream of being chief-of-staff to a president was fizzling out ever since I took my first communications class and discovered I’d loved writing and event-planning more than politics. Quick, come up with something! I jumped on the first thing I could and ended up joining the Teach for America corps.

And while incredible, it wasn’t my dream. But it did get me thinking. I loved what TFA was doing and wanted to help more nonprofits. In fact, I wanted to run one some day. Yeah, that’s my new dream! I HAVE A PLAN! Get a masters degree, do some PR work, make the right connections and in 5-10 years, I’ll be an executive director.

Except, once again, life came at me early. 3 years in I’m recruited by Gangplank to come in and help out. What was supposed to be 50% GP work ends up taking over my life and now I’m living the dream–applying for 501c3 status, applying for grants, expanding locations and planning 50+ events a year.

At 27 years old, I’ve made it.

So now what?

Yet again, I’m unprepared. I didn’t have time to come up with a new dream after leaving Gangplank. Experience tells me it will come in 1-2 years, just as it has since I started high school. But I’m impatient. I don’t like not knowing. All I know is to be on the lookout for when it bites me in the ass and trust, well, that it’s the type of dream that does indeed bite asses.

But I have hope. Tess Vigeland, former reporter for NPR’s Marketplace Money, gave a fantastic speech at this year’s World Domination Summit (woot #WDS2013!) about leaving her dream job with NPR to pursue something new–and having absolutely no clue what that was. No offense to Tess, but it does give me comfort to realize that if someone who has a ton more knowledge and experience than I is going through this , maybe I’m not so bad off.

After all, I’ve got a history of getting to stuff early =)


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