I was recently given a copy of Monsters University to watch with my kids. Since they love everything Disney it was an easy thing to say yes to. Even more, I love the theme of the film. It’s calls the main characters to have to stand up for themselves in life, even when things don’t go their way.And if they persevere, even when life is against them,they can make it happen.
We know how that goes down,don’t we?
I know this hit home for me, because when I was in my twenties I wanted nothing else than to be a firefighter/paramedic. I know I’ve mentioned it here before, but I haven’t really dug into it too much.
It was one of the best and hardest times of my life. I think the fact was that I was not only 20-ish and full of dreams, but I was a young woman who wanted a job that was a very male dominated. I was only 5’2 and 110 pounds and it didn’t help that it was the 1990’s.There was still a lot of sexism and hazing. Although it was starting to be realized, there was still a lot that was tolerated. Even from the public as jaws would drop when I rounded the corner driving the 72 ton ladder truck. I would have Dads at block parties want me to carry them across the street to prove myself.
I have never worked harder at anything in my life. All I did was work out. I would run up ski hills and push cars down the street. Anything to make myself stronger and better. I would go into the station early and chop at a log with an axe for an hour. I wanted it so bad I could taste it. Almost like a Top Chef contestant.
I worked out to bulk myself up to the 130 pound I needed to be. I studied so that I out-tested my male counter parts and when I was finally hired as the first and only female, it came with all of it’s own challenges.
I did everything from drive the firetrucks, to pull down ceilings. I rode the ambulance and put up with a lot of how shall I say it? Crap. While I had some supporters, I had a lot of guys telling me I couldn’t do the job, I wasn’t going to make it, and pretty much, I wasn’t good enough. I fought back. Hard. In fact, I dug even deeper to prove them wrong. There were a lot of tears and self-doubt.
But I loved every minute of it. I love the job. It was my life for years as I worked my hardest. Finally, when the time came for me to make a life change and start a family, I knew it was something I had to leave behind. The funny thing is, most of those same guys who were against me, came to me and tried to talk me out of leaving. I had proven to them I belonged here. It became the hardest decision I ever had to make, but it had to be done. Life sometimes makes a new path for us and we have to take it.
I still talk to all of those guys. It’s been 15 years and that experience still makes a huge impression on me everyday, and influences everything I do, because the one thing I never did was give up. And I have to be honest, as a woman with a few years behind her, I don’t know how I did it. But, I did. And I truly believe it shaped me to be the person I am today.
How about you? How did you believe in yourself and acheive your dream? For a chance to win a Monsters University Blu-ray Combo Pack and $50 Visa Gift Card, leave me your comment below.
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