It’s a good thing that they don’t have protective services for blogs. It’s almost unbelievable that I’ve gone almost three months without a new post. Although not surprising. I’ve been busy. Like, majorly super busy with life’s constant surprises.
Back when I kicked this blog back into gear, I had a very specific idea of what I wanted my life to look like both 1 year and 5 years into the future. Let’s just say that it looked something like Eat, Pray, Love with a junior sidekick. Don’t get me wrong. I still very much want to travel the world with Alissa. In fact, part of my distraction has been my travels of the past couple of months, some for fun and some for work. And I still intend on traveling as much as possible, although I very sadly had to cancel the dream vacation that I would be leaving on next week for lack of funds thanks to adult responsibilities (damn you, Uncle Sam!).
But something I learned while participating in The Break Changer this spring is that sometimes despite our well-laid plans, we get opportunities that we just can’t say no to. The founder of The Break Changer, Brit Stueven, has perhaps had as many AHAmazing moments as the rest of us as we struggle to find time for the things that matter, and then get sidelined with amazeballs surprises that we just make work because we want to. To that end, I’ve been chasing some dreams the past little bit and that’s kept me too tired to write. Although I want to make more time for writing and fewer excuses. Anyway. Onward.
I submitted an application to speak at TEDx Mile High this summer. I got declined. I knew I would, because I half-assed my application and very poorly represented my idea (which I still think is great, it just needs a little love). But that rejection was so freeing to me. It said to me, “not right now.” It’s still a goal of mine to accomplish, but not before I give my ideas some more time to percolate and really give them the attention they deserve.
I was also asked by the IBM Marketing Cloud product team to submit an abstract to speak at their annual conference again this year. To be honest, I really didn’t want to speak this year, simply because I didn’t want the pressure of having to come up with an idea and put the presentation together. But my darling co-presenter from last year more or less twisted my arm, and I submitted. I was chosen to speak on one of my favorite topics, Marketing Automation, and was paired with a woman who not only helped craft one of the most fun and entertaining presentations on Marketing Automation (yes, I have bias), she has become a friend of mine. Just as last year, the experience of speaking became less about the content and more about forging authentic relationships with my fellow human beings. I’ll write more about this another day, but I was so glad I made the time for this opportunity.
And when I returned from sunny Tampa, I was greeted with my dream opportunity: a chance to join my company’s strategic marketing team.
Most of you don’t know that when I arbitrarily decided (with my now ex-husband) to move to Seattle in the summer of 2000, I had this idea that one day, I would be this bad ass marketing maven, in an expensive suit, killer heels and carrying my black leather briefcase with my initials branded into the side, walking around downtown shouting things into my cell phone like, “I need that copy by 3 p.m.!” and “this campaign hinges on those art proofs coming back this afternoon!” A few years later, I proudly watched “The Apprentice,” and put together my own plans to execute their various marketing tasks, all of which I thought were better than the interns (humility has never been a strong suit of mine).
Now, mind you, while all this dreaming was happening, I was doing literally nothing to move myself into the marketing world. Apparently, my 21 year old self also thought that people plucked you off the street and said, “now you look like our next CMO! Come on in. We have a job for you.” It took me over 10 years to migrate in the general direction of this dream, so when I was presented this opportunity, all my “I will nevers…” quickly slipped out the window. (Except the, “I will never move to Iowa.” Despite the fact that both of our core offices are located there, that was my only deal breaker. I really need mountains in my life on a regular basis.). My 21 year old self is really proud of 37 year old me.
I’m excited for this next adventure and curious to see how it continues to enable me to “use my marketing powers for good and not evil,” as I like to say.
How about you? Have you ever abandoned one dream to chase another?