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 City...so 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.