This morning, as I boarded Southwest flight 466 to San Diego, I couldn’t help but be a little excited at the idea of writing this blog at 30,000 feet. I was going to write about bridesmaids dresses, and feverishly googled some of my favorite designers while I sat in the terminal. I needed just one more peek at those gorgeous J. Crew dresses before I started!
I’m actually terrified of flying, which is a little ironic since I’m a pretty experienced traveler. In an attempt to distract myself from the ordeal of taking off, I turned to Southwest’s Spirit magazine, and found something shocking…inspiration. So, sorry girls, but bridesmaids are going to have to wait for another Wednesday.
On the cover, in large print, were the words “The New American Dream”, and I just had to look. Pouring over the stories of people with well-paying corporate jobs who took a leap of faith to do something that they love, and their intense need to make something with their two hands…this article was about me.
Last week I shared a story in cute little snippets about myself, but this article made me feel the desperate urge to really tell my story, my search for the New American Dream. Maybe you can relate, and maybe you can’t, but this is something that I feel compelled to do.
I started my career in the financial industry in 2010. I had graduated college with a degree in Economics, and when I looked at my future I saw the path of my grandparents. I wanted to work for one company for the next 50 years, grow my 401(k), and retire with a gold watch. In 2011, I was offered a promising position with BBVA Compass bank, and I moved back home to Tucson, so excited for the future. I worked hard, and I was successful. I ranked among the best of my peers, and received praise from management. This is what I’d wanted.
A year and a half later I received an amazing promotion, and became the youngest wealth management banker in my market. I was elated, but in the months to follow, things began to change. I found myself getting more satisfaction out of DIY-ing mercury glass votives (and vases, and mason jars) in my garage than I did at work. But this is what I was supposed to do! Why didn’t it feel as good as it should have? I was confused.
Then, about a week before my wedding, I had an epiphany. My problem wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy banking, but the realization that my quality of life was going down the drain. I had no real outlet at work to be creative, to work with my hands, to make something visual and concrete that I could be proud of. It didn’t help that my 8:00am to 6:00pm banker schedule was not going to be so ideal when I married a police officer. No more cooking breakfast and dinner for two…this wasn’t the future I’d hoped for.
I loved planning my wedding, and helping my amazing friend Carrie with hers. I woke up excited every day. I read about wedding trends, etiquette, anything that I could get my hands on, and bombarded my husband with all of it. He didn’t even mind (well, maybe a little) because he knew that I was happy. And after he saw my extremely thorough business plan (that’s the banker in me!), we knew what we had to do.
Waking up every morning, ready to begin my journey to achieve my New American Dream makes me feel alive! Now, I know that I’m not alone.
P.S. Read the article at Spirit Magazine. Tell me about your dream! I would love to know more about you.