I have been told that little Claudia, always knew exactly what she wanted to be…..famous and a princess. Clearly, I was knocked back into reality reaaal quick (minus being a princess, because my dad always made sure I was his princess and now Ricky does too, not as good as my dad LOL). So, Claudia decided that she was going to get her head in the game (the education game, because I am awful at sports), and that was, indeed, achievable. I figured since I couldn’t be a princess, I’d be a rich businesswoman.
I do remember being in first grade and being super stressed out about a hand-written “research-paper” about birds. Birds, y’all, birds. I put my heart and soul, in everything that had to do with academics. My parents did both agree that education was the biggest inheritance and gift they could ever give me, so I attended really great schools in Costa Rica. I have been learning English since I can remember, I took French and Italian…
That little cheetah girl from the picture used to tell her parents that she wanted to go to Harvard after High School (don’t wait for it, I did not happen), when I was in 9th grade I started researching for scholarships for the US, full rides, because we can’t afford these prices. I applied to a scholarship that ended up bringing me to Arkansas, and the Lord has his perfect plans, y’all. That was my Harvard.
I packed my whole life in two suitcases and moved, with crazy dreams, and hopes. I have had my life planned since I am 7, buuuut I am not sure I ever sat back and really analyzed my plan through again since 1999. I started Business School and it was all supposed to be fine (right???). I kept adding stuff to my degree plan…Business Administration and Strategic Communication and Political Science (can I add Psychology or is it too late?). Alright, alright I think it looks okay, because I still love business, and I am going to be super rich….
Graduation comes around and I am so happy because my life is turning out just like planned it 18 years ago. I am trying to look for jobs and I land my first one. We all start from the bottom and we work our way up, that’s the whole point, but I don’t think I want my boss’ job, or their boss’ boss’ job. (hmmm). Maybe is a company vision thing? I’ll find something else, I’ve been here a while.
So I do that and I have the same problem, and after 3 years out of college I have had a couple jobs and I realize that I just don’t like the industry that I was in. I had to deal with awful situations and then some really good situations, but I just was not passionate about what I was doing. I hit this huge “black hole” that maybe the life I planned for myself in 1999 might not be accurate for Claudia when she turned 19 in 2013, and that I have yet, to truly discover my passion.
My inner Claudia, though, cannot deal with people thinking she is lazy, or a moocher, or a trophy wife, or she is not “got enough to do what she is meant to do, a job”, because at 25 society tells us that that’s what we are meant to do. But who cares? If my husband and I are on the same page…..WHO CARES what everybody else thinks? So I quit my job, and pack two bags and go back home for a couple weeks. Where I made peace with myself, my circumstances, my heart and then, trekked back up to Arkansas.
I realized that working at places I thought I “hated” was an amazing thing, I realized that having “awful” experiences in a particular industry was needed for me to learn and realize what I do NOT want to do with my career. To find out where I actually do want to belong, and how I want to feel in a work setting.
Quitting my job, obviously was a scary move that came with financial planning and with financial strains (no matter how much you plan). Sometimes the road to happiness (or at least mine) comes with being broke for a while, making peace with “7-year old Claudia plan”, healing emotional wounds, stop caring what people think, prioritizing what matters, and realizing that you will have to sacrifice some things but the road is worth it (we had to sacrifice McDonald’s, ice cream runs, and Ipsy bags & Netflix).
But I have found the place where my talents are put to good use and I am valued as a human and not as a payroll number (where 1999 Claudia would be stocked to work and so is 2020 Claudia) and the people that matter are hella proud of me. Where the work matters more than the pay, so being broke was worth the while to make it here. (Can’t wait to tell you all more).