Working as Front Office Manager in a hotel…also known as my most recent job that was actually related to my degree. (Did I also mention I’m a Certified Hospitality Supervisor by American Hotel and Lodging Association? Or that I currently scoop poop at an animal kennel?)
I have a couple questions for you: What is your dream job? and: Are you doing it? Don’t worry, this isn’t a motivational speech to light a match under your rear. This is more giving you a chance to study yourself and maybe the reason “why” that dream job, or in my case, dream jobs, are your aspirations for your life. For me, I have three dream jobs that I juggle in my mind on a regular basis. I’m pretty open to new opportunities, so I don’t shy away from thinking of potential future endeavors into even more industries. My oldest brother calls this my “Gypsy Checklist”. But these three are set apart from the rest; my top priorities as far as my future careers go.
Growing up in the family I did, with the role models I had in my parents, grandparents, etc. it was no surprise the idea of having a husband and children of my own (as soon as possible) has always been my #1 job, fantasy, and goal (sorry, not sorry, feminists!) Even as a kid, I was that obnoxious girl on the playground chasing boys, kissing their cheeks (against their will at times), or even “marrying” them under the biggest tree and pretending our best friend is our baby. It was always just understood that that was exactly what I was meant to be in life.
Except someone didn’t get the memo (nor the detailed timeline I drew out for my life during a Bring-Your-Child-To-Work Day at my dad’s office) and I didn’t meet my Prince Charming the day I started high school. So I had to go to college (and dang it, I didn’t meet him there either!) get a degree and have a plan…or at least a job.
So I studied Interior Design, Journalism, wished Sign Language was an entire major instead of a 1 semester course, and finally got my diploma in Hotel and Restaurant Management (because it came naturally to me, which in turn made it the easiest way to get out of college the fastest, therefore with the least amount of debt). It’s obvious, so I’ll go ahead and tell you, my first job out of college was- of course- a hair salon.
I know. Have I mentioned I was the only girl growing up in a family of boys with a mom who would French braid my hair every day to keep it out of my eyes? Complete with bows and “dresses I could get dirty in” (actual quote from my childhood self) I watched her and taught myself and have always had a natural ability when it comes to doing anything hair-related. And dream job #3 (I’ll get to #2 later) was on the way to becoming a reality. From the lobby of many different salons, I would watch for hours as a hair stylist would foil, cut, and style my mom’s hair. I was entranced and inspired. I started trying it on myself and I never did anything that I didn’t like. I started with trimming my bangs, then cutting split ends or layers, then dyeing, and finally highlighting (complete with clips, foils, metal combs and awkward backward mirror-holding). For having no training at all, I am going to brag on myself here, I really am good!
Honestly, if it had been up to me, I would have gone to cosmetology school and been ready to start my career immediately. But, my parents encouraged me to experience college and earn a degree that I could always fall back on, if for any reason being a hair stylist (or anything else I thought up) just didn’t work out. Once I finally finished college, I didn’t want to go back to school. Long story short, the salon I worked at trained their own cosmetologists as assistants and grew their experience and knowledge through apprenticeships. It sounded like the perfect way to do what I loved, without having to spend even more money just to get a paper that said I knew how to do it. In the end, that job didn’t end up turning out how I hoped. I never even got to the apprenticeship before I was on my way to my next adventure.
Dream job #2 has always been a flight attendant. It had a little (a lot) to do with my beautiful aunt who worked as a flight attendant and was always my role model, who passed away (but that’s another story for another time). Since my family moved pretty often, we traveled on vacations or for holidays to see family in other states frequently. I was on my first flight at only a few months old. I am always thrilled to be in an airplane seat, looking out the window, and feeling that impossible-to-describe feeling of being swept away into and above the clouds. It really is magical. I love everything about the job. I have done research, made Pinterest boards, and even had the airlines’ links book-marked in my internet browser for years (one year I even dressed in my aunt’s old Southwest Airlines uniform for Halloween!). But the timing has just never seemed to work out. I considered it seriously just before I heard back about the job in Wyoming. I always plan on it right as I sense the end to a doomed romantic relationship. Something always comes up and files that idea back into the cabinet in my mind…but I’m never giving up on it.
I recently told a beau that if he and I didn’t work out, that’s what I will be doing. He seemed dumbfounded, responding “Why don’t you just go ahead and do it anyways?” I didn’t answer at the time, but that was the moment I realized my dreams had always been ranked subconsciously in my mind, and that’s why I’ve always skated around trying out temporary dreams, hoping my #1 dream will come true.
I don’t mean to make it seem like I’ve put off my dreams in hopes of finding a man. I have absolutely come to terms with the fact that I could end up an old lady with goats, cats and dogs in my sparkly pink leopard-print house (because if I don’t have a man, who is going to tell me my house can’t be sparkly, pink or leopard print?) and yes, I will still love life and be happy however it turns out. I have just made my dream #1 a priority, and that does involve meeting and dating in order to find that Mr. Perfect-For-Me. If I don’t meet him and I’m not meant to be married, I will have made a lot of friends along the way, who could very well lead to dreams #2 and 3 turning into a reality.
Maybe you don’t care about my dream jobs, my history, my reasons-why, or anything about me. I truly apologize if I bored anyone with my life story. But, I wrote all of this to show that we have the passions we have for many reasons. My dreams go back to before I even had memories. They all stem from very special places, which make them that much more sacred to me. Passions are a beautiful thing to have in life, and they become even more amazing when we pursue them.
All I’m asking you to do is to look inside yourself, ask some questions and really focus on the roots of your dreams, and especially what makes them important to you.
Of course I can’t spend this much time talking about dream jobs and passions without also asking, W(H)Y NOT? Why aren’t you doing it? Stay positive- don’t make this into a guilt trip, but don’t make excuses either. I have legitimate reasons why I haven’t pursued dream jobs 2 and 3 and I am happy with them. Others may not understand or approve, but I don’t really care- as long as I’m comfortable and satisfied with it. I still have them up my sleeve ready to go at any moment. They will never become jokes that I roll my eyes at. They will be a reality someday. Maybe not all three, but I’ll be tickled pink with just 1.
As Dolly Parton once said, “Find you who you are and do it on purpose.”
Just promise me you won’t silence your inner child and go to a job that you loathe every day. Please, just dream a little dream, for me? (See what I did there?)