I must say the past six months have been quite the roller coaster. Leaving my life in the midwest to start “school,” traveling half way across the U.S. to do so, being so far removed from my family, studying, and also trying to still find time for myself and my family. As difficult as it was and as often as I considered just throwing in the proverbial towel, I came out the victor.
I accomplished something that I had always told myself I couldn’t do. I had always made up excuses as to why I never completed any college. “I can’t sit in a chair all day and learn anything.” or “School just isn’t for me.”
Oh, and then there was the one where I convinced myself that there was no option but school, “I have to make the money to keep this family afloat.” I took my responsibility as a father and husband seriously and I was so focused on making sure that the life I gave my family was better than the one I had growing up that I lost sight of something extremely important… Myself.
Even with all the reasons not to do it, I somehow found at least one better reason to do it. The reason was a selfish reason I’ll admit, but dreams don’t have to be only for the dreamers. Why shouldn’t the grounded and steadfast be allowed feel the wind lift him to the clouds once in a while?
So, what was the one reason that pushed me to take the leap?
Simple, I want to smile again. I wanted happiness, and so I closed my eyes and stepped over the ledge. Now, I can say that I am happy, truly happy. I live in one of the most beautiful places in the States. I protect the plants, the animals, the people, and the park.
I am living MY dream. Not the “American” one, not the one that we are brainwashed into wanting. I am talking about the one where when you were a kid you would say you wanted to grow up to be a policeman or firefighter. I am a Park Ranger.
It wasn’t an easy road to get here, but I did it. And you can, too. You just have to have the motivation and will. Life is too short to be stuck in jobs you hate and living a life you wish you could escape from.
For me, since I had no experience in the parks and recreation field, I didn’t want to start at the bottom and work up. So I enrolled in a Seasonal Law Enforcement Academy — there are only about a dozen of these academies in the US. After three-and-a-half months of going to school full-time, I was awarded with a law enforcement commission. I was turned loose to hunt for a job at the state and national parks level, and have been loving it ever since!
Whether you want to be a firefigher, a policeman, a baker, a cattle-wrangler, a painter, or a park ranger, I would take the leap and pursue that dream. Chances are your dreams are more attainable than you believe.
Have you or are you totally thinking about ditching your day job for your dream job?