There is nothing more important to me than sincerity and authenticity. It doesn’t matter if it involves business, customer service, or education, as long as there is something genuine to build upon, it will work eventually. I don’t do fake or shallow. I do not have it within me. There are times when I would love to hide my true feelings, where it would definitely be to my benefit to do so. It is unbelievably difficult for me, and frankly, I am awful at it. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing; however, I have been told that I “wear my heart on my sleeve.” Guilty. Unfortunately, that simple observation makes everything entirely too complicated.
The other side of the equation is that so many people write me off, particularly in business, because I am short, appear younger than I am (usually), and female. That combination isn’t great in business when you desperately want to be take seriously. Well, that is their loss. There is so much that most people don’t know about me. I’ve held such a variety of jobs at 36 that it is crazy, but it also makes for some great stories. I grew up working at a canoe livery and campground with over 10 years of experience. I’ve interned at IBM and Applied Materials in the aftermath of the tech bubble, and professionally purchased parts for oil wells for FMC Energy Systems. I’ve also worked at a cemetery (yes, really) and managed a convenience store, working my way up from clerk. I’ve also worked as a substitute teacher, working in classrooms grades K-12 (I have subbed at every grade level). I’ve also written hundreds of online articles for the now defunct Associated Content, earning not an insignificant amount of cash. There is plenty more, but I think I made my point. Frankly, I am not an easy person to define. In a world that loves and rewards expertise, I love to learn new things. Keep in mind, that was only my working life.
I am happiest when I am learning, trying something new. It is the one constant I’ve been left with over the years. It is why I decided to become a teacher. Hopefully a teaching career will allow me to put all of these crazy pieces together, especially when I also have the opportunity to be a co-owner in the canoe livery. There is so much I want to accomplish that it overwhelmed me at times. I didn’t know where to begin or how I was going to make it all work. I have a much better idea on how to make it work now, fortunately. The thing is that I could write an even more detailed overview of my educational experiences, including study abroad and alternative spring break, if I chose to do so. All of it has shaped me. There are times when I think the reason why I didn’t do much in my mid to late 20s was simply due to cramming so much into my late teens and early 20s. I did everything I possibly could at Michigan State, including DJing on a student-run online radio station. The one exception is that I didn’t join a sorority.
I am stating all of this to make a point. The entire time I was at Michigan State, going to school, working, studying abroad, and so much more, all I wanted was a relationship. Sad, isn’t it? I am so glad that I didn’t looking back on it. Would a relationship have survived over a year and a half of studying abroad and working? Ah, no. I had friendships that didn’t survive it, much less anything else. Was it worth it? Yes. Definitely. I finally did get the relationship I wanted at the end of my senior year at MSU. Was it worth it? Yes and no. If I could give any piece advice to my younger self, it would be this: Don’t give up your dreams for anyone.
“Yo Soy Yo” means “I Am Me.”