“When I grow up, I want to be <fill in the blank>”. Almost every child on this planet says these words. As adults, we all had dreams when we were kids about what we wanted to be when we grew up. I was taught at a young age that I can do whatever I set my mind to. For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to be an elementary school teacher. So, I went to college, got my bachelor’s degree, and then went on to get a double master’s so I could be the best educator. I got a job in a great school district teaching kindergarten and then third grade. I loved it.
And then life happened.
I got married. I had children. I wanted to be home with my kids while they were young. I had the perfect career for it. Take some time off, then when the kids are a little older, go back to teaching. It was all planned out. However, something happened during my “time off”. I realized that although I did love teaching, it wasn’t my passion. I went to work, did my job, and came home. I looked forward to the vacations and summers off. Who wouldn’t? But I didn’t miss it when I wasn’t there. I didn’t look forward to going back. Ever. I felt lost.
How do we find our passion? How do we know what that ONE thing is that will make us love what we do? Sometimes, we are fortunate enough to know at an early age. Most often, however, we need to “find our way”.
There was one thing I was always passionate about. I always loved planning events. I didn’t just love planning events, I LOVED planning events. Of course, they were small scale events…a co-worker’s baby shower, a surprise party for my father-in-law, my son’s christening. These were events for people with whom I had an emotional connection. Would I feel the same way planning an event for a perfect stranger? That wasn’t the only question running through my mind. There were a few more…
- Is this something I can do full time?
- Do I really want to leave a job that allowed me to be home nights, weekends, all school holidays, AND summers?
- How will this impact my family?
Here’s the thing when you start analyzing, well in my case overanalyzing. You start weighing the pros and cons, then begin to seek advice from others, and ultimately try to “convince” yourself what you “should” be doing.
The reality is, the only way to know for sure is to, in the words of Nike, “Just Do It”!
So that is what I did. I took a certification class to get a feel of what the event industry is all about, which led to the opportunity to work with an Event Planner, which led to the hands-on experience needed in order to know for sure if this is something I REALLY wanted to do, which led me to know for sure that this most certainly is something I REALLY want to do, which led me to start a new career as an Event Planner.
Almost 10 years later, I have a successful Event Planning business. I also went back to teaching. I now teach my craft and expertise to both novice and experienced Event Planners. And I go to work, come home, and can’t wait until the next day to do it all again!