It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything so I’ll just do an update on what’s been happening with me. I also didn’t realize how much time had passed since my last post.
I was asked to participate in two different STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) events in October. The first event was speaking to 7th and 8th graders about engineering careers. And the other…I’ll get to that in a moment. Unlike most people, I actually enjoy public speaking so I was looking forward to both events.
The speech at the middle school didn’t go as fluidly as I’d hoped. The adults in the room seemed to enjoy it. I appreciate the feedback but they weren’t my target audience. It’s difficult to talk to teens and preteens because they give little to no feedback. Just blank stares on blank faces. At least adults give reassuring nods every now and then; even if it’s just to stay awake. I prayed about my speech before hand so I believe I said what needed to be said and I’ll let God take it from there. It’s really not about me anyway so no need to worry about it. During my speech I talked a little bit about my college career and gave them some practical advice. I finished up by telling them I resigned from my job because I wanted more for myself and encouraged them to follow their dreams. I also gave them the link to my blog. I saw a few students write it down so that was encouraging. I like to refer people to my blog because I believe it gives a more well-rounded picture of my life and thought processes. I feel like I sound crazy when I try to explain it out loud. Writing gives me a chance to organize my thoughts and choose my words wisely.
The second STEM event was for a select group of juniors and seniors from different high schools in the area. I was part of the grand finale to wrap up a day of exploring STEM careers. During the day I rotated to the different sessions and blended in with the crowd. During one of the sessions I sat in front of a girl who attended a luncheon that I spoke at last year. (The same event the mayor’s wife knew me from.) She recognized me and started a conversation. I told her that I had since resigned from my job and was striking out on something new. She thought that was pretty cool. I didn’t get a chance to tell her about my blog because the session started. This is where business cards would come in handy. Note to self: order business cards.
At the close of the event I performed (yes, performed) a nice little ditty called “STEM It Up” sung to the tune of “Shake it off” by Taylor Swift. Written by your’s truly. Again I didn’t get the audience participation I had hoped for but that’s okay, I did my thang anyway. I’m not a singer so I wasn’t trying to be good. I’ve seen enough American Idol auditions to know it’s better not to try. My goal was to have fun and I did. Personally, I feel like I nailed it. The video may prove otherwise but I haven’t seen it yet so I’m sticking to my story.
Thanks to my cousin, I’ve regained my confidence to apply for jobs again; engineering and otherwise. Not hearing back from anyone got a bit discouraging. During the process of applying for jobs I realized that I need to further my education. I need another degree or certification or something. So in an effort to not be basic, I started looking into several types of educational programs including master’s degrees, certificates, and professional development courses. During my search I came across some interesting stuff. I even found an online class about how to make money from your writing. That one is definitely worth looking into. When I left my job I decided that I didn’t want to be dependent on one source of income again.
Going back to school is not a revolutionary idea. Most of my friends have master’s degrees and my mom has been telling me to go back to school for years but I just wasn’t ready. I felt like getting an MBA or master’s in engineering were my only options and I simply wasn’t interested. After a bit of research, I came across a program for innovation and entrepreneurship that sparked my interest. This may actually be a good fit for me. This could help me do something with all these ideas floating around in my head. I never did anything with my ideas before because I didn’t know where to start and I was afraid of failing. I know starting a business is risky, but so is resigning from a well-paying job with nowhere to go. At this point I’ve decided to apply for everything that sounds remotely interesting and see what works out. Doesn’t hurt to try.
In addition to STEM events and researching schools, I got the opportunity to pick up another day at the cafe. My church is also starting up a coffee stand where we will be selling specialty coffee drinks featuring our own unique blend. (Tapping into that Starbucks money.) When this new venture was announced I knew I had to be a part of it. This kind of thing is right up my alley. This would give me a taste of what it would be like to run a food truck. Also, I would be officially employed by the church and not just a volunteer. I don’t know if working for the ministry is my ultimate destination but it’s where I am now. I plan to make the most of it and keep walking through the open doors. I’ve actually learned a lot by hanging around the ministry since this summer. I’ve gained experience working with kids, facilitating a camp, customer service, baking, food prep, food service, catering, office reception, and graphic design. Working at this coffee stand will allow me to add business management and barista to my bag of tricks.
I know it seems like I’m doing the most but as my mom says, its okay to have multiple irons in the fire. Definitely an old school phrase but I like it so I’m gonna run with it. Besides, I have nothing to lose.
6 Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both.
Ecclesiastes 11:6 [NLT]