Every time I sit down at my desk to work the bright gold-foiled word “HUSTLE” framed to my left urges me to get to work. I’ve always pushed myself to work hard, and incidentally, that usually means through the night.
I used to stay up late working on my resume or portfolio while plotting my next internship. These days I’m staying up late sewing clothes for my children or editing a home video for fun.
(1 of 2 dresses I stayed up late sewing this week I shared the other here)
In college I was on top of my game. I won more than a dozen awards for my storytelling, and scholarships for my dedication. My dream was to become a prime-time anchor in my hometown of Atlanta, GA, or to get hired as a CNN correspondent… Whichever came first.
At 21 I was the youngest news anchor in Austin, TX. I was off to a great start and only had plans to rise quickly from there. I’m not saying this to boast—Far from it actually. Because my lofty goals completely switched gears shortly after settling into my new gig and becoming a mother.
A few years later not much had changed with my career. I hadn’t won any more awards, and younger talent continued to move into town. I felt like my resume was a reflection of my glory days, and I was so far away from this now. I’m tempted to say I’ve gone backwards. I’ve wasted six perfectly good years that I could have used to continue to climb the ladder towards my ultimate dream. Part of me feels like I’m letting so many people down—People who invested in me, encouraging me to go for it. Not many people know what they want to be when they grow up as early as 7. I did.
Am I taking a break from it all to raise a family? Or have my dreams completely changed? I used to get excited about things like scooping all the other stations with an exclusive interview with the district superintendent. Now I am thrilled when my baby waves goodbye, and by the fact that my daughter just drew a picture of people and for the first time it actually resembles people.
“LOOK AT THIS!” I declared to my husband, shaking the crayoned paper in his face “She drew eyes and hair and everything!”
I recently listened to a Motivational Monday vlog from a woman who urged us to stop being competitive. I’m an extremely competitive person, so touched me. The woman said if you must compete, compete against yourself. Be better than you were yesterday, and strive to be that person you dream to be 10 years from now.
Instead of looking at other friends I graduated with in high school or college doing things I see as bigger or better than what I’m doing, I’m beginning to look at myself and ask how I can become the woman I want to be. How can I push myself to be better?
Then, looking deeper into my dreams and aspirations—It wasn’t the lights and cameras that had me excited about being a newscaster. It’s always been the ability to tell stories that’s charmed me. That’s what I love about my career, what I’m still doing, and what I hope to continue to do.
I love meeting new people and asking questions (that’s where my daughter gets it from!) I love taking their stories and sharing them with the world. I love helping my community with the stories I tell. Even if the story isn’t Emmy-award-winning, each and every one has a special place in my heart.
I was born to be a storyteller. Born to journal as much of this world as I can, from my perspective. I was born to leave a mark in history for countless people I meet, and for my own family. I never thought I’d say this, but I think I was born to be a mother.
My dreams haven’t been put on hold; they’ve evolved.
Right now I am living (in the words of Rapunzel) my new dream. I’m doing what I was born to do. And I’m doing it with kids, which might I say, makes hustling 10Xs harder, and 20Xs more worthwhile.
What were you were born to do? Have your dreams evolved through the years?
I’ve created eBay collections with some of the items I love to use for memory-keeping, and storytelling. Each collection featuring hashtag #ImBornTo created now until the end of the month will raise $1 for the March of Dimes. As of writing this post they’ve only raised just over $5,000 so far. We can do better!
If doing something good isn’t motivation enough, you’ll also be entered to win a $5,000 shopping spree. It’s easy to create a collection, I’d be happy to help if you have questions. Check all of mine out here. Once you make one share the link with me in the comments.
If my some miracle I have the most blog comments with eBay collection links I’ll win $500. If I win I’ll give $100 of my cash winnings to one my readers who comments with their collection link. Isn’t that nice? Now step to it!
*This contest is sponsored in collaboration with eBay.