For almost all of my life, I have worked hard to achieve goals. In high school, I swam competitively and I loved the feeling I experienced each time I set a new personal record for my 50-yard freestyle event. Getting into a good college was another memorable achievement, especially when I received an acceptance letter from one of my top choice schools, Clemson University. In instances like these, setting goals to decrease my swim time or to attend a good college seemed easy and felt in line with what I wanted and who I wanted to be.
Other times, setting goals was not very easy. For example, selecting my major and ultimately my career path was not easy for me, because, at the time, I had no idea what I wanted to do for my career. I decided to follow the advice of my parents and my high school guidance counselor and selected engineering for my major. This decision seemed logical because I’m good at math and science, and a bachelor’s degree in engineering, I reasoned, would be a good card to add to my hand for whichever career I chose after college.
Upon graduating from college I accepted a job as an environmental engineer at a manufacturing facility in Charleston, which at the time was called Alcoa Mt. Holly. I worked with wonderful people who believed in education. I attended technical classes, leadership training, and even attended night classes so I could earn my MBA degree. I traveled to other Alcoa facilities across the U.S. and befriended a Norwegian engineer who worked at my facility for a few months.
Despite all of these wonderful aspects of my job, I found myself longing for weekends.
Not just on Friday afternoons, but throughout the entire week. I couldn’t identify what was off with my job, but I knew I knew something was missing.
Then I became a mom. I don’t know if it was the hormones, the nursing, the baby snuggles, or the dreaming of the future for this tiny human. Something happened to me when my son was born. I started to let my mind wander. I wrote in a journal. I asked myself questions about my dreams and my deepest desires.
When my husband and I welcomed our second son, I decided to leave Alcoa Mt. Holly for an engineering consulting position at S&ME, a firm located close to where I live in Mt. Pleasant. Again S&ME was a wonderful place to work with top-notch people who I quickly thought of as friends. However, I still felt something was missing.
I envisioned starting a business and becoming an entrepreneur. I wanted my family to have financial freedom, and I wanted to show my sons what it looks like to have passion. How to make a difference in the lives of others. How to work hard and be our best selves. By reflecting on all of my thoughts and dreams, I decided to set a new goal. To get my real estate license, invest in real estate, and start a residential real estate business.
I had many discussions with my husband, and we decided I would take classes at night so that I could get my real estate license. My husband had to take on most of the childcare, and it was not easy. Some days were absolutely unbearable. Especially when he ruptured his Achilles. We asked our families to help and somehow I finished the classes and I passed my real estate exam. I joined an amazing brokerage, Keller Williams, and I built my real estate business while working full-time as an engineer.
Then the day came when I was ready.
When I would tell my family, friends, and fellow coworkers that I was leaving the field of engineering. A field where I had studied and worked so hard for 15 years.
I believe this was the scariest yet the best goal I’ve ever had so I wanted to say thank you to both of my kids for inspiring me. For motivating me to come out of my shell, so that I can be the best version of myself. For giving me the courage to do something hard, uncomfortable, and uncertain. For inspiring me to follow my dream.