Friday, November 4, 2011

Taking the long way

My friends from high school, married their high school boyfriends
Moved into houses, in the same zip codes where their parents lived
But I, I could never follow
No I, I could never follow.
- The Dixie Chicks, "The Long Way Around"

I don't know how many Dixie Chicks fans read this blog, but "The Long Way Around" is one of my all-time favorite songs -- do you know it? It is one of those songs where hearing the lyrics felt a little like someone was reading my diary. I totally could have written it! (Except I don't really write songs...I get hung up on the rhyming).

I've been thinking about this song a lot lately because I've just started out on a bit of an adventure, and it's definitely a little out there. I don't know that everyone would take this particular path, but I think it is right for me...and I'm excited!

As I mentioned in my last post, I am now coming to you from sunny...ORLANDO!

Whoa! Pretty drastic change. I've lived in NYC for almost 8 years and before that Boston for 3. I'm a girl who likes big tall buildings and late night food delivery and walking everywhere...basically a City Mouse. Orlando has been a BIG change of pace: lots of grass and late night theme park visits and driving everywhere. Very different!

I've been here since September 2, and I honestly can't believe almost 2 months have flown by. So much about my life has changed, and I can't believe it but I still am not quite in a regular routine. And I am a girl who needs a routine! Hence my dropping off the face of the blog world, both as a reader and writer. Just have not figured out how to get it all done.

So why Orlando? Well, I've mentioned before that I am absolutely in love with a place called Give Kids the World. I first learned about this organization about a year and half ago, and it isn't an exaggeration to say that hearing about this place changed my life. I can't explain exactly why, but I was fascinated by it, I felt drawn to it. There wasn't a day that went by that I didn't think about it -- I just think their mission of granting Disney-based wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses is so inspiring, and I think the work they do is so important. I just had this incredibly strong feeling that I wanted to be a part of it. But I lived in New York what could I do?

Well, last year I came up with a plan that would have me quitting my job and moving to Florida to volunteer at Give Kids the World for 6 months. And there's a long, sad story that goes along with this, but I was not able to make this plan work. I had done everything I needed to do, but an important piece of the puzzle didn't fall into place. I was DEVASTATED. And I felt lost for a while. But the new year came, and I started blogging and making lists and figuring out my goals, and I couldn't get Give Kids the World out of my mind.

And then I watched The Last Lecture.

And really listened to the messages about brick walls and not taking no for an answer. And I figured out another way...

I'll need another post to go into all of the details, but I convinced my company to let me move to Florida and work remotely for a few months. I figured if I was here, I could volunteer at GKTW any time I wasn't working. It wasn't quite the same as totally kissing my job goodbye, but it was a way in. It was a way to get where I wanted to be.

And after about a million other steps (subletting my apartment, learning to drive, buying a car, etc.), here I am. Most days I still pinch myself. The experience has been everything I wanted, and so much more. I LOVE spending time at Give Kids the World (don't worry, so much more to come on that!). I love the change of scenery, I love the new friends I've made. And I love knowing that I was able to do something kind of big, kind of crazy...all on my own. I dreamed up my own destiny, made a plan, and made it happen.

Seriously, I feel like I can do ANYTHING I put my mind to. Amazing!

PS -- Thanks to a lot of people for helping me make this work: my boss for understanding my crazy dream, my new friend Andrea who was an excellent planner-in-crime and now is a most excellent Disney park buddy, my dog for rolling with the punches. And Randy Pausch. Thanks, Randy.


  1. Wow!! That is amazing how it all came to together! Kudos to you for making your dream happen!

  2. Thanks! It has been such a blast, and such a good reminder that I can make things happen for myself :)