Thursday, December 1, 2011

Back to the Future...

So when I was a youngster in college (EONS ago - well I graduated in '03), I never really thought about my future.  While at Hofstra I studied Video/TV production and all I wanted was to direct for live television.  I was on top of the world my senior year and I thought nothing could stop me.  The world was my oyster and I was totally going to eat it up!  Which I did!

I had a great run working at NBC Universal and I participated in so many things.  Little did I know though, that my "idea" of what I wanted to do in life was certainly going to change.  It started when I was on assignment as an NBC Page, shadowing the Director of the Macy*s Thanksgiving Parade.  That was an experience that I will certainly NEVER forget. Being at the rehearsal until about 2am and then waking up to be ready for the parade at 4am was pretty much nutty.  It was an absolutely fun time especially with other Pages, but the thing that made me realize that this wasn't the life for me was a few things: lack of sleep, lack of exercise, and watching the Director smoke about 3 packs of cigarettes a day.  Now that didn't seem like a very stress free job.  None the less, I loved it, but I knew it wasn't for me. 

Fast forward a few years, I asked myself many questions one mainly being:
"What the heck am I doing in my life?" 
So if I could go back in time, just like Marty Mcfly, I would have told my college self that I needed to take a look at what I really wanted in my PERSONAL life.  Maybe back then I wouldn't have known much about what I would want, but here are a few things that I know for sure that I always dreamed of:

1) Getting married
2) Having a career that I love
3) Having a family

Well it took me a while, but so far I have accomplished #1 and #2 and #3 will be happening in about 25 days or so - a baby girl is on her way.  The career part took me a long time to figure out.  But you know what helped me? Talking it out with others.  It's so important to express what really interests you to your family, friends, and even someone you just met on an airplane (just don't talk to any wacky people).  And you know what's even more critical? Knowing what you DON'T like! This will help you determine what jobs NOT to apply for.  It worked for me. After talking with many people, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to do exactly what I do now: helping young individuals figure out what they want to do in life!  Hey, I had much practice figuring it out on my own, that I feel like it's only second nature to me.

So the whole moral of this story...Really hone in on what your personal values are.  It's really so important.  I have to say that my life is so much better now and it's because I value an equal balance of work and life.  Would I love to be making 6 figures?  Of course, who wouldn't? BUT my time and the results that I see from working with students like yourselves, completely outweighs the big bucks.  Money cannot buy me happiness.

Soon I will be a working mother and I can't ask for a better place to be!  I really wouldn't be here if I didn't take a minute to stop and think about what I really value in my life.  So please do yourself a favor, and look deep within.  Take a few breaths, and if it doesn't come to you now, it will at some point.  I promise you that. 

~Kat Castro, Assistant Director

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