Love this place and these people

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Here's the story...

After explaining my decision and future plans to the last 50 people who have asked one by one, I figured it would be easier to be able to refer everyone to a blog post that explains in detail my plan (or the lack thereof) for the future. So here it is.

First I need to explain that I realized before I graduated from BYU that accounting was really not my cup of tea. But after spending a significant amount of time and effort on a degree, I needed to give it a chance. I had goals that I made when I was in 9th grade, and by golly, I was going to be responsible and achieve them. Working at Deloitte was a great experience, the people were my favorite part. But when they brought me in to tell me they were making cuts in my group, I was more than happy to go my own way. I was done with corporate accounting and never wanted to do it again. Over the next 6 months of "Funemployment" I did a lot of thinking and talking with people about what I should do with my life. There were many suggestions, everything from Tour guide/travel agent to seminary teacher to counselor. I appreciate each suggestion and really did look into a few of them.

When I finally made it back to DC, I really felt like I still needed to be here even though I had been planning on leaving. So I found another job in accounting that I hoped I would like more. I avoided the large companies, certain that I would like working in a smaller environment with smaller clients. Because that's where I had always pictured myself some day. I also wanted to get experience doing individual and small corporation tax returns so that I would be able to help people I know. Well I got the experience and I learned a lot, including the fact that I will NEVER like the practice of accounting. I really enjoyed studying it and I have enjoyed teaching it for the last semester. But the actual practice of it bores me to tears. Those who had the opportunity to interact with me on a regular basis during busy season can testify that it was a rather rough time for me. One that I decided as soon as it was over, I would not be repeating if I could help it. So I started looking into other options.

And I found a dream job, with USAid. As a Junior Foreign Service Officer. I would be doing the finance track and living over seas and potentially learning new languages, for the next 20 years, dream come true. I applied and got an interview and had the best interview experience of my life. Became friends with the other candidates, felt good about all parts of the interview, and a few days later I got a call from the woman who interviewed me saying that it wasn't official but if my references checked out, HR would be calling with an offer. Holy Smokes!! Then came one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. I REALLY wanted this job, but I wasn't supposed to take it. So I said no. Ouch. I've been a little bit mad and frustrated about it ever since. But mostly confused. I knew exactly what I DIDN'T want to do with my life, I thought I had figured out what I DID want to do, but then I wasn't SUPPOSED to do that. Seriously?

Soooo, that pretty much brings us up to where I've been for the past 6 months, in a state of confusion. I had to quit my job before another busy season, but where would I go next? Should I move, should I stay? I had considered everything, and decided to stay in DC. I was going to worm my way into international development somehow, but not as an accountant. With the help of friends and Craigslist, I lined up interviews. I had also been approached about doing recruiting and I was considering that a little bit.

Then one day last week I realized that I wasn't interested in doing any of the above. At least not right now. The thought of getting another desk job, be it in international development, recruiting or accounting still wasn't appealing to me. After talking to my dad, he is so wise, we came back to the tour guide thing, and I started looking into it. Afters a few hours I found this place www.backroads.com, (hiking, biking and multisport adventures) and they said they were hiring for their 2011 season!! And suddenly I was excited about a job again.

But, I still didn't take it very seriously. I sent the link to my sister Brianna who would also love to do something like this and is looking for a job. We talked about how great it would be and suddenly I really wanted to do it. So I called my dad again and asked him if he thought it was a crazy idea. He of course loved it. Thought it was the best idea ever. But the season doesn't start until April. How am I going to survive until then? I can't really afford to do that in DC. And this also isn't the place to be making connections in that industry. So the thought crossed my mind that I would need to move back to Utah. As I voiced it to my parents, it all just seemed to make sense. I think most people know how I feel about moving back to Utah, so the fact that this felt right, must mean it really is, because otherwise it never would have been an option. And from there everything happened really fast.

I was already going to be headed that way for the holidays and it didn't make sense to go out there then come back and then go back, so I decided to do it before Christmas. I had already given my 2 weeks notice at work, I called Brianna to ask her to fly out and drive across the country with me, and now I just have to figure out how I'm going to get all of my stuff out there, or get rid of it. The last week has been crazy and the next few days are going to be even more so. I'm excited, scared, happy, sad and a bunch of other things all at once. But at the end of the day, the most important thing is that it feels right. I have been praying for guidance for a long time. I never thought it would be to head to Utah, but I'm willing to give it a try. My dad said something about this being a step into the darkness, I said it was more like throwing myself off of a cliff into the darkness...

So there is my story. The adventure begins next week with our Southern Road Trip (North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas), then Cedar City for Christmas. And after that...your guess is as good as mine.

P.S. Christina decided she needed to document every single day of my last two weeks here. Here are some of the photos we've taken. Classic.

A Christmas Carol at Ford's Theater - So delightful.

The Nutcracker at Warner Theater - Beautiful. I still dream of being a ballerina.

Some typical dancing/craziness from Christina and I at the Scottish parade in Old Town.

Awesome face cupcakes I made while teaching someone about cake decorating.