If I Can Do This…

The last few days have been an emotional roller coaster for me.  Well, maybe more like the tea cups, but for me, an unusual high.  Despite one set back, which I will get into later, I have been extremely positive and happy with how things are going, and I am going to do my best to keep it up.

Last Tuesday, I met with my boss’s wife, Pattie to discuss my “Bucket List” idea of taking a trip to Spain.  The idea, as you know, came about sometime around December/January, and at first it was nothing more than a dream.  I thought it would be nice sometime before I died to see Spain.  That idea morphed into the idea that I would get there immediately following my 35th birthday.  From there it became an entire month in the country as well as going alone and speaking nothing but Spanish the entire time I was there.  By the time I got around to telling Pattie about this idea, I started thinking it was something I could actually pull off, but I knew in the back of my mind that I have often “talked the talk,” but failed to “walk the walk.”  I wanted to take a trip to South America a few years back, but I never got much farther than looking into the cost of a passport.  Well, during my discussion with Pattie, we basically laid out the entire trip, as well as convinced me to get over there immediately following my 34th birthday, an entire year sooner than I had originally planned.

After our talk that night, I came home and posted a message to all my friends and family telling them all about my crazy idea, which it turns out isn’t all that crazy, and went to bed feeling like I was finally on the right track to make this trip happen.  The next morning, I was floored by the amount of support I had received from my friends and family.  Everyone was posting positive messages for me and wishing me luck.  I never realized just how important it is to have the people in your life support you in your goals.  While I still have many fears and doubts, as that is just who I am, my confidence level has been lifted so high that I feel I can overcome any of these mostly irrational fears.

My one naysayer in all of this was my boss, John, Pattie’s husband.  I was surprised to find out he knew about my idea by the time I got to work Wednesday afternoon.  He and I did not discuss it.  In fact, he did not speak to me at all, and normally I would have let this bother me, but the fact that I had so much support from all the other people in my life, I did not let his negative attitude bring me down.  I’m not going to let him or anyone else bring negativity back into my life.  I have been too happy the last few days to lose it now.  That is why I am not going to say much more about it here.  At least not today.

No, actually, my point in today’s entry was to move beyond my trip, not so much chronologically, but beyond the trip in the sense that if I can do this, if I can really put myself on a plane and fly around the world to spend a month in a country where everyone speaks Spanish, I can do anything.  I know, I am starting to sound like a public service announcement, but I don’t care.  I have spent too much of my life daydreaming about better things but never acting upon these dreams.  I have let poor excuses cloud my thoughts and bring me down.  I have let material things, particularly money, dictate my actions.  Despite all my complaining about money, I have never found myself living alone under a bridge after making any life altering decisions.  Sure, I have to be smart about how I go about things, but I’d like to think I am a smart person and can make wise decisions.  Part of the way Pattie is helping me plan the trip is that she has offered me a second part time job assisting with the Ronald McDonald shows that they put on around the state and even slightly beyond.  I would not be able to attend every show they offer, but on the days when I am not working I can put in 3 or 4 hours and get paid $140.  Not a bad deal.  At first I thought this would be difficult, but Pattie has suggested I try to work two shows a month leading up to my trip in May of 2015.  That would help me save around $3000 dollars in addition to the savings I already have.  I loved the idea, but then it got me thinking, “Why should I stop in May?”  That is, if it is a fun job, which it sounds like it will be, why give it up?  This is a great way to build me up as a McDonald’s employee beyond the restaurant.  Not only will it look good for me down the line, but it is a great way to meet new people and make new connections that will benefit me here and now as well.  Part of my problem, despite having worked for John and Pattie for 17 years is that I have never really reached out beyond the store.  This is my chance to start meeting people who may be able to help me along the way.  Since talking to Pattie Tuesday night, I have already contacted a woman within the McDonald’s corporation who put me in touch with the global McDonalds rep. in Spain.  I am hoping to communicate with him my plans, and while in Spain I would like the opportunity to visit both the Ronald McDonald House and obviously a few restaurants, not just to eat but to perhaps talk with the franchise owners over there.

I really feel like my horizons have truly opened up in just a matter of days, and that’s only within the McDonald’s circle of my life.  I feel like now I have the confidence to go forward with more things and do more with myself than just work 45 hours a week here at home.  I have no intentions of quitting my job or anything like that, but I feel as John and Pattie near retirement, my options for other opportunities are finally opening up.  I doubt I could ever go so far as to live permanently in a foreign country, but I feel if I can use my trip to Spain as more than just a vacation, it will open the doors to much more for me.

If I can save the amount of money I initially budgeted for myself, I should end up with a nice surplus, and with that I want to get a large portion of my debt taken care of.  By pushing the trip ahead one year and finding ways to save additional money, I feel like in the year following my return I will be able to pay off a considerable amount of debt.  That will obviously free me up from a lot of stress and once again allow me to do more things in my life that perhaps I wouldn’t have even considered were it not for Pattie encouraging me to do this.  I’m not looking to be rich or start living some ridiculous life of luxury, but I would like to get back to doing more than just sitting alone in my apartment.  That being said, I need to branch out and find more people who want to explore life this way.  I don’t need to take more trips around the globe, I just need to get over my fears of taking risks.

I’m glad I finally found something that I am passionate about that it will help me overcome my stupid fears in life.  Obviously I will be keeping track of all that I do leading up to the trip, both here and in my Spanish blog.  Read on and see how it goes…..

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~ by James on February 15, 2014.

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