The number one most valuable thing I’ve learned in my life is that things rarely go according to plan.
When I was ten I had it all figured out. I’d go through school, graduate with all my friends, and then become a pastry chef. I spent hours and hours designing what my menu would be, how my bakery would look, I KNEW this was what I wanted to do. Then my dad told me that making cakes out of a Betty Crocker box mix didn’t count as being a pastry chef, I’d have to do it all on my own.
Back to the drawing board then.
But it was fine because quickly I found my actual calling: hotels. Every summer from fifth grade through tenth grade my grandparents took me on month long road trips. It was an incredible way to see the country and gain a perspective on the world that you just can’t learn from a picture online or in a textbook. We rode mules along the grand canyon, walked across a glacier, watched wild bear cubs play in a meadow(from a far away distance), and sunk our toes into sandy beaches on both coasts. All along the way, we stopped at hotels.
In each new hotel, I had a list. I checked the free snack selection, the number of channels, count and comfort of pillows, view, breakfast variety, pool, and free stuff provided. When we made it back home I organized and compared all the hotels and decided which one had been the best.
Once again, I had it all figured out. I’d get a job working in hotels, I’d travel the world, I’d see all there was to see! I started working at a local hotel in an unpaid internship. I learned how to work the front desk, fold the laundry, and clean the rooms; hotels in all their glory.
By the time I finished high school I had worked in several different hospitality roles and been accepted to a university far away from my hometown of Cedar Park, Texas to begin my glorious traveling journey. There was only one problem: I had been working so hard in real jobs for so long that the thought of four years in an expensive school learning things I mostly already knew how to do seemed dreadful.
Time to change plans again.
I explored new ideas, set my sights on a new plan; after all, at eighteen you know everything, don’t you?
I’ve failed. I’ve won. Often I’ve recalculated or started from scratch. What I’ve finally learned is that there is no grand scheme. There’s not a one track way through life. It’s messy. It’s exciting. It’s risky. It can be rewarding.
For the last few years, I’ve worked for a publishing company. It wasn’t until about a year into working for them that I realized the one thing I consistently did in all my failed endeavors that I enjoyed: I organized.
When I started I knew nothing about Microsoft besides Word, I’d never even heard of an Access Database. After 6 months of using it daily and watching how & what my colleagues used it for I decided I wanted to make my own database, how hard could be? It took months of after hours labor, epic amounts of data loss, problem-solving, and youtube videos but finally I made something great. Here’s what I did.
I find the slow points and problems and I reinvent them.
That’s why I’m so excited to be a part of Praxis.
I enter hopeful, without a plan, and with a few skills to apply to an exciting career, wherever it may be.