I got my first “real” job working with databases in New York City in the early 2000′s. The woman who hired me was incredibly smart, and a pleasure to work for. She understood how mainframes processed data, the need and challenge to create web interfaces and relational databases that would work well with mainframes, and she could solve problems like crazy.
I really admired the intense focus my manager had. Part of why she was so good at solving problems was that when she was interested in something she could really concentrate on it and understand it. Then she’d figure out one important thing she could do to make an impact on the problem and get to a solution.
My first manager’s name is Kirsten Thien. She still lives in NYC, but she’s released her third album and tours the world performing blues and R&B. She turned all her powers of focus into following her dream. Know what that is? That’s awesome.
It Turns Out That I Did That, Too
When I was checking out Kirsten’s site recently, I thought about how important it is to make the most of your life and do something you really enjoy. It’s important to do things that don’t come easily, too. I believe that to be happy in our culture, we need to challenge ourselves repeatedly.
My life as a database consultant is pretty darn geeky. And while some things about it may seem traditional, I’m a co-founder of a small business. I design my own schedule, make plans for the business, train customers, architect environments, performance tune all manner of database systems, speak at national and international events, and do all sorts of crazy activities I couldn’t imagine back on my first day of “real job” work in NYC.
My life used to be more cut out like a pattern, but at this point I truly direct my life and make choices that change it immensely. I take risks, and I learn things that fascinate me each day. To me, that’s what it means to follow your dream.