Friday, April 6, 2012

On Following Your Dreams

Happy Friday!  We made it!  Although I typically have pretty crazy week days, this week marked my first official week back in the classroom.  That's right- I survived my first week of interior design classes at the Art Institute!!  If we happen to be new friends, I'd love to catch you up on what's been happening in my life.  Although I don't often get too personal on my blog, today I felt compelled to share my story, in case it might speak to someone or encourage them to take a risk. 

I graduated college with a bachelor's degree in business in 2010 and went straight to work for a reputable energy corporation.  I thought that my life was all figured out, and I patted myself on the back for landing a relatively "good" job straight out of college.  Surely I had made it!  





But wouldn't you know, I began experiencing a certain uneasiness about two months in to my new job.  Deep down, I wasn't fulfilled.  I often asked myself, "Is this it?"  Had I truly gone to college and spent my whole life preparing to enter the workforce, only to experience unhappiness and disillusionment 2 months in to my new career?  So, I did what I figured any normal person would do- I became really good at suppressing that unhappiness!  I lied to everyone about "how much I loved my new job" and "yes, I do enjoy what I do" and "yes, I am lucky to have a stable job in an uncertain economy." I had always heard you weren't supposed to like your job, so I figured it was normal to hate going to work.  


To satiate my creativity, I started a blog, I read design websites, and I antiqued and dreamed of decorating my first home.  I regretted that I hadn't majored in a more creative field, but I also knew I had a good major and that I should make the most of it.  In my free time, I could do what I really loved to do: design.

This kept me satisfied for a good year or so, until finally I couldn't deny the fact that it wasn't normal to cry everyday when you left work.  It wasn't normal to count how many years I had left til retirement at the age of 23.  Although it seems so simple to me now, I had no idea how I could ever change career paths.  So I started reading stories of other bloggers who had taken a similar leap of faith, quit their jobs, and chased their dreams.  People like Alex, Liz, Mackenzie, Roxy, and Julia.  I emailed fellow bloggers for advice and support, asking what they did to make a change, to pursue their passion despite the risk.  And, I prayed.  A lot.  I knew that God wanted me to be in a role that glorified Him the most.  In my mind, I thought that that could be interior design.  But maybe it wasn't.  So I prayed simply for the proper doors to be opened or closed and that the path I should follow be made clear.  


And after praying, I sent out a few emails on a whim and applied to the Art Institute of Houston for their interior design program.  I knew that my current job could help me pay for school, and thought the temporary answer might be to continue working during the day and go to school at night.  Still, I sent an email out to the builder that built my parent's home and asked if she knew of any interior designers that might need an assistant or an intern.  And then I waited.


And waited.

And waited.

And once I was sure the builder had brushed off my email, I woke up one morning and saw an email from her.  Yes, she did in fact know of a few designers who needed help.  She would call them and get back to me soon.  And there I sat, in utter shock.  Was this it?

A whirlwind of three days went by where I interviewed with a residential interior design firm and was offered a position assisting them and I was accepted in to the Art Institute of Houston.  The right doors had been opened, and the path (at least for now) had been made clear.   And for the next week or so, I was thrust in to a constant state of amazement.  Had this truly happened?


I don't want to appear too idealistic.  This has not been an easy process.  Of course, there was resistance from my parents, snide comments from coworkers, a few "why would you go back to school?" remarks.  But for the most part, there has been support and encouragement.  My passion finally outweighed my fear and I knew I just had to go for it.  


At the end of the day, if I won't listen to my heart and make the necessary changes to find fulfillment in my career, than do I really believe in myself?  If I don't believe in myself, who will?  There is so much negativity in the world, and I quickly learned in my first job that people resent those who are bold enough to take serious risks. I have been so inspired by the blogging community and all the passion I see in fellow bloggers.  You all inspire me to work harder, dream bigger, and get back up when I fall down.  I hope that if you have an uneasiness about your career path, you will recognize that and address it much sooner than I did.  You truly can do it!  I am living proof.

40 comments:

  1. Sam-

    I LOVED this post! Mostly because I understand 110% percent what you went/are going through. I entered the workforce after graduation and was instantly miserable, with the similar "is this really it?" feelings. It makes me wonder how many recent college grads feel this way. I suppressed my unhappiness until one day I found a program at NYU that fit so well it made me cry. So on a whim, I applied for grad school. And to my surprise, I got in! My fear almost let me let the opportunity slip away, but I finally grasped that God had opened a huge door for me -- and I start this fall! I'm terrified, but so glad I'm taking this risk -- I can already see it is the best decision I have ever made.

    God works in pretty intense ways sometimes -- I'm so glad that he is opening these doors for you, and am so excited to see your Interior Design career soar! I love your blog and your style, I see you being VERY successful in the years to come in a career where you feel passion! I'll be praying for you girl!

    -Brittany

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  2. I'm going to tell you from someone a little older (wink, wink...), who waited and has spent far too long not doing what you are doing now... there is no time like the present. There is never anything wrong about following your heart, especially if that means getting to wake up and like how you go about earning your living every day. Bravo to you for having the courage to put yourself out there and not succumbing to the dogma of what you are "supposed" to do once you earned your initial degree. I wish I had been as brave...

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  3. "I quickly learned in my first job that people resent those who are bold enough to take serious risks"

    That is the best quote I have heard in a LONG time. It is SO true. I know first hand. I'm so happy for you and also so proud of you for following your heart. I KNOW you will be an amazing success! I'm glad I get to say "I knew you back when...." Much love xoxox

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  4. Cheers Sweetie! What an inspiring post! So excited for your new endeavours!! xx

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  5. What a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing and congrats on following your dreams

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  6. this is so inspiring sam and I am so happy that you took a leap of faith and are now following a path that'll lead you to something you love. and you couldn't have said it better - people resent others who are bold enough to step outside of the norm and follow their dreams. it's their own fear and insecurities that make them give off such negativity. i hope things go just the way you want it :-)

    http://nuhasofiyan.blogspot.com/

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  7. I am so moved by your post. I went through the exact same struggles and that's how I started my blog. I'm glad you found your passion in design! :) I'm truly inspired.

    Club Monaco Bracelet Giveaway
    ChicPear Fashion Blog: www.chicpear.com
    ChicPear Bloglovin

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  8. Congrats on the new job and the first week back at school! Big changes take time but it really does sound like your headed in the right direction.

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  9. Congratulations Sam on following your dreams! It's great that you took that leap of faith and are now doing something that you truly love. Very inspiring! :]

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  10. Congrats!!! I couldn't be more happy for you and I'll be cheering you on every step of the way. It's terrifying to leave the comfort of what you do, to chase what you LOVE. your job fills a large part of your life, and you need to love it. I have no doubt you'll be successful, and can't wait to see what you do! You go girl!!! xo

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  11. I admire your strength and your courage to follow your dreams! I wish you the best in your future endeveours. I am still trying to figure out what exactly I want to do.

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  12. Love love love this post!! I can feel your pain, hope, excitement and pride!! Congrats on getting into the Art Institute and finding an interior design internship! Sounds like the right doors have opened for you! It's so important to stay focused on what makes you happy no matter what other people may think or say! Congrats on all your accomplishments!

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  13. I am just completely awe-struck by everything that has happened to you..this...whirlwind of great opportunities and change (for the better).
    Isn't it amazing the power of simply making up your mind to change your situation. you put yourself out there, and it paid off! I am so SO happy for you! I can't wait to see the bounty of things you will be doing in the world of interior design!

    <3Amanda
    feast.fashion.faves

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  14. I just want to tell you how proud I am of you!!! I worked for years in corporate america making a very lucrative income, but I was bored to tears!!! I walked away from that job to start my own design firm and have never looked back. Friends and family thought I was crazy to leave my 'good paying job', but it gave me ZERO joy. Life is too short not do something you don't love. Stay focused and follow your passion, it's worth everything to be truly happy and fulfilled. I know you are going to succeed!!! xo

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  15. Sam-this is so amazing! I know all too well how the "is this it?" feels. It's ladies like you that inspire me to search for more. You will be amazing and i can't wait to see everything that is in store for you!
    Xoxo Amanda

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  16. Where are you going to school? That is so awesome. I myself am thinking about going back to graduate school for interior design. You inspire me!

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  17. Congratulations on taking the plunge and going for it!!!

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  18. Congrats! You will move mountains with your determination and attitude!

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  19. Sam, I am so proud of you for figuring out so young to follow your passion and strive for true happiness in your work. I wish you success in all that you do, and even though it will be hard at times, it sure sounds like you're doing the right thing.. If there is anything I can help you with, holler.
    Happy Easter, a time for renewed hope!
    Xo
    nancy

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  20. Really like your blog!
    A wonderful post!

    Have you got an account in instagram?
    If yes, write me your name!

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  21. Your determination and courage is an inspiration to all of us. I am glad you followed your dreams and passion and met with such wonderful opportunities! I am excited for you as well. :)

    Wishing you tremendous success in the future!

    Have a lovely Easter weekend!

    Jessie
    www.mixandchic.com

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  22. I'm so so happy and proud of you Sam! Congrats and all the best in this new path, your path! :)

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  23. I'm so happy for you! I'm in the same boat, I want to major in business but couldn't stand it without that creative outlet. Any advice? -Abby
    fashionhauties.blogspot.com

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  24. This was so, so inspiring to me. I'm about to graduate and enter the real world, and scared to death of it! But I know for sure that I want my job to be something that I LOVE to do, or else I won't be satisfied. This post has given me the courage to make sure that I do love it!

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  25. So happy to hear you're following your dreams! I know you will be an amazing designer because you're so passionate! Thanks for the post

    Laura

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  26. Congratulations on following your passion! I am about to do the same thing, but it has taken me almost 10 years to walk away from my corporate career. I wish I'd been bolder and done this years ago! Staring at a computer all day is no way to love, I can tell you from experience :)

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  27. So many congratulations to you. I know that's a scary leap to take, but every time you take a risk you inspire so many people. Good for you. I can't wait to see more great things to come :)

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  28. Good for you! I think so many of us out here in blogger land especially can relate to your experience. Thanks for sharing!

    xx
    Kecia

    http://www.couturezooblog.com/

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  29. so inspiring! congrats on this new venture! sounds like it's the perfect fit :)
    xoxo

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  30. such a great story:) i'm so happy for you!!! congrats. xo

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  31. I know Vashti already commented on your exciting journey, but I just read your post again and had to tell you how exciting is to read about your journey and faith! In Him all things are possible and when we allow Him to guide us amazing things happen! Especially, as you said, when we seek to glorify Him. I wish you many blessings on your journey and thank you for sharing your faith for all to see! You have an amazing eye and we can't wait to see what you create!

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  32. CONGRATS! Can't wait to see what the future holds for you.

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  33. Yay!!! Good for you!!!!! You follow your dreams and DO NOT EVER look back! At least you found out now. It took me 10 years in a job I hated, that almost destroyed my health and everything I had. Thank God, that I quit, and never looked back. Best decision of my life.

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  34. I found this message so encouraging, as I was catching up on your blog this afternoon. This prooves that you can find a path in life that is fulfilling to you and uses your God-given talents and interests. That is so awesome!

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  35. So glad to read this and BRAVO on your candidness and bravery! That's right, bravery! It's so hard to make big changes like that, especially when it messes with your financial stability, but girl, you are a shining example (c: And that is so cool how things are falling into place for you, I hope it continues to be an upward climb! xoxo!

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  36. I loved reading this post! I'm a senior in college now and it definitely inspired me to stick to my guns and try and forge a path in fashion (as scary as it may be). Get it girl! Can't wait to hear all about the next step in the journey : )

    xo SideSmile,
    Ashley

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  37. Oh what a sweet and wonderful post! I have been emailing you this weekend and didn't even see this... I have been out of the loop. Good for you for following your heart when other people didn't think it was the best decision. I went through a similar experience after I graduated before getting into design. The way I see it is, we are young and there is no reason at all to get locked into something we aren't happy doing! Obviously you are gifted and smart and can put anything you put your mind to. I am sure going back to school will be one of the best decisions you make. Congrats!!! Remember, she who dares, wins... those who take risks get the greatest rewards. Keep on doing your thing, girlfriend!

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  38. You have no idea how this post has inspired me. I have been working 60 hour weeks for the last 3 months in corporate job and well, you can imagine how I feel. I really needed to read this and I thank you for sharing! I wish you the best of luck on your journey. You are going to be an amazing designer!

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  39. Such an inspiring post Sam; I'm so happy for you that you have finally found what you are meant to be doing + following your dream. I know you're going to be an amazing designer! Congrats lovely xx

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