My parents told me I can be whatever I want when I grow up.
This is the underlying theme of my existence since graduating college.
I also read somewhere that the only barrier between you and success is yourself. Or something.
Cue massively inspirational and thought-provoking metaphors, quotes, proverbs and thoughts.
When I started writing as part of the #Reverb10 project in December, I didn’t really consider how much the reflecting and manifesting would change my life. But it did. I have also had my mind totally blown by the likes of Jenny and Jamie recently as I’ve been making some pretty hefty steps towards a major life change.
What I’m about to write is 99% terrifying and 100% the most excited I’ve been about anything in a long time. Yes I’m aware that adds up to more than 100%. No, I’m not worried about that.
If you’ve been a reader here for more than five minutes, you know that skydiving became a huge part of my life last year. It consumed me, as it tends to do with a certain percentage of people that are ballsy enough to jump out of a plane in the first place.
I spend a lot of my time with my head in the clouds. Daydreaming of where I want this road to go. Where I want to be, and more importantly, what is important to me and WHO I want to BE.
My dream life isn’t about riches and picket fences and big houses and snazzy cars. I want more. I want experiences that are rich, challenging, and most importantly, something that I’m absolutely loving and something that inspires me to share that insane energy with the world.
My dream life involves living in/around Chicago at the dropzone during season, doing everything I can to make that place the best dropzone in the country by coordinating bombtastic events and being the smiling face of the sport that I love so much, write my column for Blue Skies Magazine, handle the PR/Marketing stuff for CSC, and jump my face off so I can eventually be an AFF instructor, and live wherever I want in the winter. This is my “someday” plan. Someday, I’ll quit my job in corporate America, start my own LLC and be a skydiving/marketing princess gypsie with a pet unicorn to boot.
And that is exactly what I’ll be doing, starting in February. Just need to find my unicorn.
::jumping and dancing, and by dancing, I mean flailing my body parts in a a wildly odd and strange fashion::
I’ll be working with Chicagoland Skydiving Center for the season (remember that place, my second home this past summer?), and concentrating on another leg of the business, PROskydiving, in the off-season. I’m extremely excited to help them open the new location, help coordinate some awesome camps and events, and help grow their experienced-jumper base. There are a lot of people that come through CSC – and I’d like to see more of them come back and be part of the family.
And yes, you can now say “I told you that planning events at your first job, despite the fact that all you wanted to do was tweet, would someday pay off.” Go ahead, say “I told you so.” I’ll respond with a big, fat, smiley thank you. Your card is in the mail.
Of equal importance, I’ll also be working toward another goal of mine, to get my coach rating and, eventually, my AFF rating so I can be a skydiving instructor. I’d say “hello dream job” but I hardly think of skydiving as work, so I’ll say – “hello dream life!” Much larger than the adrenaline and all that, I want to have the opportunity to teach people how to skydive – and see their lives transform as a result of it. This is something I can do that can change lives. And I’m BEYOND stoked about it.
Obviously I’ll absolutely miss Austin and everyone that has quickly become a mini-family to me since I arrived in October. I’d likely forget someone if I tried to list you all out, but you know who you are. And to my mentors that have been so rock-solid in helping me sort all of this out in the past year – a gigantic thank you. Your votes of confidence mean the world to me.
Is this the worst decision I’ve ever made in the history of my decision making? Maybe. But probably not. I know exactly what I’m “giving up” or “throwing away” by choosing this route. And in return, I know exactly what I’m gaining. My life, my love, my passion, my hobby, my friends, my family and a life that I’m living for me, for my dream, because at the end of the day, I’m the one that I answer to when it’s all said and done. I’m choosing a path that is centered around fun and happiness and perhaps even a little instant gratification (I call it a “sense of possibilities”). But why shouldn’t I pursue exactly what I want when I want it? I’m the only one to blame if this totally sucks. And I’ll be happy to share all of these crazy emotions every step of the way.
So yeah. That’s the next chapter in the life of Sydney. As I said in my first #Reverb10 post, I anticipate my word for 2011 will be Freedom. This is most certainly a step in that direction. Blue skies!
So, as it turns out, I kinda suck at the whole actually-executing-all-25-things-on-my-list-of-things-I’m-going-to-do-while-I’m-25-thing. I’ve crossed five off the list in the first six months. Mind you, the five that I’ve plowed through are all pretty awesome, and I’m not by any means upset about this, but I think it’s high time I revamp my list.
So, below, please find 20 new items that I will complete before I turn 26 in 6 months (minus a day, since my birthday is on the 3rd).
- Continue to be true to myself, my career goals, and my goals as they pertain to skydiving.
- Live in a simple fashion – eliminate the clutter.
- Be a good mentor to someone (I’ve heard I can cross this one off from multiple people but this is one of those things that is on-going).
- Facilitate an engaging discussion at SXSW 2011 about mentoring.
- Get to 100 jumps, and if time allows, my coach rating. The coach rating thing is a 2011 goal, but I don’t see why that can’t happen before June.
- Visit my family at least once between now and June.
- Stay in touch with my friends and former colleagues in Chicago. (Hi everyone!)
- Save enough money for a skydiving trip to somewhere cooler, climate-wise, when it’s blazing hot in Austin.
- Get new contacts.
- Go to the doctor.
- Blog more. Explore other areas of PR/Marketing and all things social.
- Help a student in their job search.
- Bring great people to WCG.
- Make time for myself so I can recharge and keep the creative energy at the highest level possible.
- Stay sane while the boy is on his adventure on the east coast. Set dates to see him while he’s in Chicago next season. Continue to be awesome to and with him and grow as a person. This one should count for 5 points.
- Keep my car maintained. AKA, get my car in for maintenance.
- Spend less money on stupid stuff. (See saving money on #8)
- Commit to a fitness plan that is sustainable. (See also #14)
- Eat clean. Go big or go home. Stop eating garbage and get back on track. Holidays are over, tubby.
- Do the right thing. Every time. It might not always make sense, but follow my gut. It’s served me well so far.
What are some things you hope to accomplish in 2011? If you’re working on a similar list of things you want to do during XX year, how is it coming? Are you keeping yourself in check and holding yourself accountable?
I still want to meet Oprah, for the record. So if you can work on that for me, that’d be great.
And I’m keeping the old list up, under the new list. You can see it here.
November 23, 2010 | Posted in Uncategorized | By Sydney
I’ve lived in Austin for a month now. 30 days. Holy. Crap.
Since I tweet about how much I love it here all the time, I thought I’d share some of my favorite photos I’ve taken since I arrived a month ago. Here, in photo form, are several reasons #iloveATX.
More to come on why I love Austin, but this will do for now.
A little back story: I used to be a student brand manager for Chipotle at USF. The other day, I ventured in for my usual: a chicken salad with black beans, veggies, corn salsa, regular salsa, cheese and guac, with sour cream on the side. Everyone and their mom says that Chipotle is horrible for you, but really, it doesn’t have to be. ANYWAY, I get back to my desk to enjoy my delicious salad and my chicken is cold.
I wasn’t looking for any freebies. Really. Having used to work with the Chipotle marketing team, I know how important food quality is to them and I just wanted them to know that the chicken was cold. One less-than-usually-stellar salad wasn’t going to keep me from going back. I love me some Chipotle. I had to go through a couple hoops to get to the right forum to let them know, but once I did I received a friendly email from one of the marketing gals, asking for my mailing address so they could send me a gift card so I could enjoy another salad. Next time, with hot chicken.
So, my dear friends at Chipotle (and fellow burrito-lovers), a little brand haiku for you:
I love Chipotle.
Chicken salad is my fave.
Can’t wait to go back.
So, if you know anything about me, you know that skydiving is my obsession. Duh. (And if you didn’t know that, then I’m sorry for assuming, and you can read all about my obsession by clicking the “skydiving” link up at the top there.)
And, if you know anything about me, you may recall that my obsession with skydiving (was re-ignited) started at SXSW last year when I made my second tandem jump (first one was in 2005).
So, because of everything that skydiving has taught me about myself, what is important in life, and where it has brought me today, I’d like to formally extend an invitation to any and all of you who may be in the great city of Austin, TX for SXSW in March to join me in jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.
Not sold on the idea of experiencing total freedom? Not totally keen on feeling the wind in your face? Thinking you’d rather eat a can of worms than throw yourself towards the earth, strapped to some stranger?
Fear not, I have put together a list of reasons why you should take the plunge. I have more than five, but I want to hit you with the good stuff a couple times before March. So, the first five:
- Admit it, it’s on your bucket list. If you go to 43things.com and add “go skydiving” or “skydive” to your list, there are tens of thousands of people who want to do it. You’re probably one of them.
- You’ll have something to brag about at the _____ party that night. So what, your friends went to another panel about how social media is changing the world? You jumped out of a plane. ‘Nuff said.
- You will be SO HIGH for the rest of the day. The adrenaline rush you get from skydiving is insane, and everyone reacts to it differently. My first jump? I was elated. Screaming, all that. Now? I still get the rush, but it’s a simple smile. A feeling of complete ease. Skydiving literally washes away any stress that I have.
- Adrenaline kills your hangover. Pinky swear. So the night before I was supposed to go, I was kinda freaking out. So I figured if I had one more beer then I’d be too hungover to go. Easy excuse, right? Wrong. I woke up, much to my dismay at the time, got in the car, met everyone at the Four Seasons and off we went. A Gatorade, McMuffin and a skydive later, I was feeling like a million and a half bucks. Seriously. So I don’t want to hear that you’re too hungover from the _____ party. You’re coming. And you’re welcome.
- The “rah-rah” aspect of skydiving. Are you speaking at SXSW? Congrats, for one, and two, you might be a bit nervous (unless you’re a vet, then this point may be moot). But seriously, if you can jump out of a plane, you can do anything. You can write that deck, you can present that deck, you can sing that song at karaoke, you can ask that girl to marry you, whatever is scary, after skydiving, isn’t scary anymore. That’s the rah-rah aspect of skydiving. IT’S GOOD FOR YOUR SOUL, people.
If you’re down to do it, want more info, or want to see who is ballsy enough – check out our little Facebook group.