“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” ~ Peter Drucker
Ever since I was a little girl, growing up in a small town in New Hampshire, I’ve always wanted to help people. Teacher. Healer. Decorator. Dancer. Artist. Hairdresser. Mentor. Coach. If it involved helping humans feel good, in some way, you name it, I wanted to be it. I was put on this earth to help. Those of you who know me personally will probably agree. And it’s not just humans, that extends to animals too. To this day, I still want to open an animal sanctuary where all unwanted animals can live out the rest of their days in comfort and love.
In high school, I had dreams of being an elementary school teacher… specifically 1st grade. I wanted to help children transition from home or daycare into the school system. But my parents had other plans. They wanted me to be an accountant. They started a business when I was 2 years old and I grew up in that business alongside my mom. She taught me everything about running a business. So being the overachiever I seem to be, I enrolled in Bentley University, after high school, as a double major… Accounting and Computer System Analyst. After my first year of college, I could feel the life being sucked out of me. You know that feeling.
I took a year off school, got myself a desk job at a car dealership and thought…. Well, this sucks. I don’t want to be doing this for the rest of my life. And this was certainly not what I had in mind when I left school. So I decided to go back to school, for me this time, not for my parents. Guess what I chose? Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Education. In Philadelphia, PA. This was so much more suited to me. It was artistic, making people feel good and being an educator. Right up my alley. Four years later, I walked out of there with a degree and immediately got myself another desk job. This time at a bank. With tall cubicles. In a tall cement building. In Center City Philly. Days blended together. They were all the same. For three years.
About this time, I was missing my family and my hometown so I decided to move back to New Hampshire. I moved in with my sister until I could find my own place. We both worked for my parents furniture store. The same business I grew up in. She was the manager of the carpet department and I started out as office help and cleaning lady. Then I became the Carpet department's office manager. My parents, due to unfortunate circumstances, had to close the business. Knowing that is was coming to an end, I looked into local colleges to go get my GSAT for teaching elementary school. I was going to finally live that dream. But my sister didn’t want to stop. Our department was flourishing. So she approached me one day and said, “Donna, do you want to open a Flooring Store with me?” And I said, “Okay.” Then we were off and running.
For five years, I owned the operations side of the store and my sister owned the sales side of the store. Occasionally I was let out of my little box to help customers choose colors when the sales staff was shorthanded. But then it was back in the box. Staring at four walls. Do you see the pattern starting? Wake up early, go to work, work all day under fluorescent lights and then go home to go to bed to start all over again the next day. I was 30 years old by this point in my life. It was flying by me and I wasn’t enjoying it. I wasn’t living. Did I have money? Yes. But no time to do anything with it. Did I have a house? Yes, but no one to share it with. I was running around in circles with no way out.
Fast forward to 2012, I found myself at another desk job, and another in 2014. I know there is a better life out there for me. Why do I keep going back to desk jobs working for someone else?
Do your bosses appreciate you? Are you fulfilled by your job? I certainly wasn’t. I think these are questions worth asking yourself - if you are not happy where you are, there are other options.
“Choose a job that you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” ~ Confucius
If you are someone with a job in the traditional workplace (work 35 to 45 hours a week and receive a fixed income in return), you get out of bed every morning because you’re obligated to get to work at a certain time. Once you get to work, you’re obligated to complete any number of tasks assigned to you. If you fulfill all of your obligations in a given week, your boss is then obligated to pay you. If you don’t fulfill all of your obligations, however, your boss does not have to pay you. In fact, he/she may even fire you. In the end, this feeling of obligation and fear of unwanted consequences is what keeps us waking us every morning and going to work.
Why live your life out of obligation and fear? It just doesn’t make sense.
I’m ready to break free of that industrial age mold. I officially leave my desk job in 2 days on the 24th of February and take a journey across the USA from Massachusetts to Nevada. Just because. And that is just the beginning.
Follow along with me on my journey into the Great Unknown.
Until next time...