I’m a self-proclaimed nerd who spent my formative years doing what I was ‘supposed to.’ I graduated 2nd in my class from high school (don’t ask – I don’t wanna talk about it), and headed off to college with the dream of becoming an astronaut (thank you, Space Camp).
Two weeks later I had changed my major (something I got quite good at over the next several years), eventually graduating with a degree in Letters (basically, I’m great conversation at a cocktail party). Then I proceeded to do what any good overachiever does who is delaying reality – I got a Master’s degree.
I accepted a position with the world’s largest consulting firm and for the next 5 years lived the fast-paced life of nonstop caffeine, weekly travel, 80+ hour workweeks, embassy parties in Washington and happy hours at 5 star restaurants complete with co-workers in suits and ties.
Somewhere along the way I lost sight of who I was, or perhaps I never really knew. But I was miserable. Good students were supposed to go to college and get ‘smart people’ jobs and do ‘smart people’ things. But that wasn’t me. And I didn’t want to wake up one day and realize that I’d never made an impact on anyone’s life, done something meaningful or made a difference in the world (no matter how small).