Friday, May 13, 2011

A Living Angel.

Awhile back, I wrote this post about my friend Shel.

Today, with a bit of a heavy heart, I write yet another post in her honor. I want to share her story because of the inspiring, amazing attitude that she has and how she is letting faith guide her. She is letting God take control. She is letting Him make the decisions in her life, which is beyond admirable.

I can't even find any other words to fill in this post. My heart aches for her and her little family who are stationed in Korea, away from family and friends. This is all just beyond words. I can't stop thinking about her and praying.

Please say a prayer, send vibes, think a good thought, or do whatever it is your faith tells you to do, for this sweet family. Someday I will hopefully understand why such awful things happen to such amazing people.

Read their story here. (My friend, Jessica, posted their story on her blog because Blogger was not being nice to Shel.)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I can't say it enough....
{Christmas '06}
I would be lost without her...
{August '08}

{March '09}
Thank you, mom, for all that you do and all that you are. Lily and I are so lucky to have such an amazing role model. 
{September '10}
In the words of Lily, "Tank you, Nana!! I lub ouuu!!!".

Friday, May 6, 2011

How did I get here?

I rarely post about my career. I hear the horror stories about people who make a blog post or Facebook status posts about their jobs and get canned the next day because it was deemed inappropriate.

Well, I'm taking a chance here because it is such a huge part of my life and I have been feeling a bit...overwhelmed, with a bit of elation mixed in, with my job responsibilities lately.

I believe I've mentioned before that I am a regional sales manager for a medical device company. (My true title is "Vice President of Sales Operations", but that's a tad bit inflated since there isn't really a President of my company. My boss that deemed me VP likes to use big words.). Let me make it clear that I truly love my job and this post is not to complain. It's to muddle through my honest confusion as to how I got here.

Much like my car history, as well as my house history, I was a job gypsy. I had two long standing jobs before my current job: Target from '92-'96 (my high school and early college job) and Luna Pizza (my post college "what the fuck was I thinking getting a Bachelor's degree in Social Work" job) from '99-'03 and then again from mid '04-'06. In between these jobs, and even during my Luna's years, I did a million other things from owning a pet sitting company, to substitute teaching, to beer and liquor promotions, to even waiting on tables at Hooters...I was a jack of many trades. I would love to say that I was experimenting to truly see what I wanted to do as a career, but that would be bullshit. The fact of the matter is that I always got bored. I always needed a new challenge, and if it wasn't challenging enough, I moved on.

In late '05, I found sales in the most peculiar way. Medical sales, to be specific, and how I found it was by hurting my knee, getting fit for a knee brace by my now boss, and being being offered a job out of the blue. In the right place at the right time, I suppose. Usually this makes outsiders get all wide eyed with envy when they find out what I do and say something along the lines of, "OMG!! HOW did you get in that business?? Did you know someone?? That's GREAT money!! Are you hiring?".

Yes, it's a great job and it can be great money but let me bust up the myth: It's stressful and it's HARD work to make good money. You have to pay your dues. I'll be honest, my first couple of paychecks were not more than a few hundred dollars each, and we only got paid once a month. It was a struggle. It's definitely not a cake job like the stigma suggests.

Now that I made my little public service annoucement, I'll attempt to get to my point.

Last week, I had to go to Miami to work on closing a huge account within a big hospital system in that area. I have never worked with a big hospital system. Or CEOs of any kind. Or directors of every hospital department. It was a bit intimidating, to say the least.

My first day down there I had a meeting with my manager, my representative from that area and about 11 hospital executives. My heart was pounding when I walked into that little conference room. I could feel a tiny panic attack brewing. I felt out of my league. I felt unqualified. I felt inadequate. The only thought running through my head was, "how did I get here??".

But then, somewhere in that 60 minutes, I felt....confidence. I felt empowered. I felt...proud of myself. Actually, I felt proud of every woman at that table. There were only 3 men at that table of execs and 8 women. That felt amazing. We run our households, have babies, take care of our husbands...and we run companies. We're all executives, of sorts, at this table. I am in upper management of a medical device company. Holy shit. Albeit only a year and 2 months into management, I earned this. I must be doing something right.

And then I thought back to 8 years ago when I was waiting on tables and struggling to make ends meet. If someone would have asked me where I saw myself in 8 years, I could have never imagined this would be the answer. This was never my life long dream or even something I truly was aspiring for. I never longed for that "career woman" life. I was always pretty ok with mediocrity in my job, as long as I made decent money and was somewhat happy.

Yes, this job originally fell into my lap, but you know what? I worked my ass off for where I am. That's how I got here. I may still be learning management and evolving within my career, but I'm here and I deserve it.

If it sounds like I'm tooting my own horn, that's ok with me.

Now ask me if I said one single word in that meeting of 11 execs. The answer is no, I let my boss do it. Hey, I just learned how to be proud of myself. I'm still working on this confidence building thing.