This was written a few years back and tucked away in my drafts. I didn’t post it, truthfully because I thought it was arrogant and not all that great. Looking at it today it speaks volumes to my heart and soul.
Why wouldn’t I share this…Enjoy!
I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions but goals, goals have been a huge part of my success for almost as long as my youngest is old. In 2010 enough was enough, I would no longer wait for something to happen to me I was going to happen to life. For years I daydreamed about coming into money and I would take off a few years from work and go back to college. I imagined getting a teaching degree, not sure why teaching, every aptitude test I ever took pointed in the direction of Accounting but dear God that is so terribly boring and too flipping hard. Here’s the funny part, my undergrad is in Accounting, and my day job is in Accounting. That’s pretty darn ironic right?. What I ran away from, avoided, is my bread and butter today.
I remember like it was yesterday, I was in a position at a CPA firm that paid the bills but I was dying to sink my teeth into something more mentally challenging than my current tasks. I longed for more, something that would feed my soul and pay for a nicer roof over my family’s head. I wanted to be able to pay the bills and have money for vacations and to pay for my kids dental bills without passing out from shock. My current position wasn’t going to get me there.
My friend had just left the firm I was at, she was moving and her position didn’t require a degree, she was involved in things that were exciting and challenging, my golden opportunity. I was ready to tell my bosses how great I was and how fast I could learn, I knew I could do it, I was up to the challenge. Within seconds of proclaiming my desires and abilities I saw it on their faces, the dismissal of me. I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t have the experience. It was too big of a risk for them to take.
I went to my desk dejected. But the burning desire didn’t go away. Weeks passed, I began to search for inspirational quotes, I subscribed to daily emails from a program called Discovery. And one day the exact right quote came through my inbox.
“You must do the thing you think you cannot do…” Eleanor Roosevelt
It struck me to my core, school had been the one thing I didn’t think I could do. I had failed so many times before at following through with my classes. I would drop out, or I would coast through and finish with a C and not return the next semester. Back then I had no direction, no tangible goals, no mentors, no accountability. But there I was surrounded by successful CPAs, individuals who went to school and finished, I was surrounded by people who were where I so desperately wanted to be.
I printed the quote, cut it out and taped it to my monitor. I sat there staring at it, knowing what my next step was. I was going to apply to community college. I figure I would start part time but it didn’t take long for me to scratch that idea and go all the way. I started school full time August 2010, just shy of a year after my youngest daughter was born. Four years later December of 2014 I walked the stage, my family and two of my greatest mentors watched me be handed my Bachelor’s degree. Surprise, it was in Accounting.
What does this have to do with New Year’s goals? Well it has nothing to do with New Years and everything to do with goals. It has everything to do with setting a big audacious goal and letting those close to you know what you’re doing. Knowing that if you don’t stick to it, they’ll be holding you accountable, questioning why you’re giving up. Having people to hold me accountable, knowing they were depending on me to deliver made all the difference. It got me through very hard times. Points where I’m in tears feeling like I could die from the stress, that I would let everyone down if I didn’t accomplish what I set out to do.
Hold up. That last paragraph started off inspirational, motivational and ended down right scary. Going to school full time, while raising three kids was ridiculous. There were days that I felt like I could have a heart attack from the stress of it all. I didn’t go at it quite right. Do I regret doing it like I did? Nope not at all, that whole experience was life affirming and changing but I couldn’t go at that break neck speed forever. I couldn’t nearly kill myself for other people.
Getting my degree was my goal and it was an awesome one but I won’t do it the same way again. In fact I swore off big crazy goals for a little while, I mean I still was my crazy stubborn self, taking on way too much and pushing myself to the edge, until there was no more edge to go. All that was left was the edge of the cliff. My choices, my goals had to change.
I left the firm that raised me up and held me accountable four years ago…now nearly ten only a few short months after I walked the stage. When I left it wasn’t the happy exit I was hoping for but it was necessary. I remember so clearly sitting in a Discovery weekend refresher, I closed my eyes, let the song sink in and it was as clear as a bright sunny day.
Here’s the part where you might think….what is her point? The point is go out there and do you. Don’t limit yourself. Be crazy, set crazy goals. Hype yourself up but don’t forget you. Don’t forget to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Let that sunny day infiltrate your entire being. And if you find yourself not beaming with joy from your accomplishment rest, reset, and be who you are unapologetically.