I got an MBA so I could paint things in superhero colors

Screen Shot 2013-05-08 at 6.27.17 PMI recently had a revelation and at the same time I realized I hadn’t given a personal update in quite awhile – so technically this post is long overdue.

It begins with a realization that I had just yesterday. I was sitting at a craft table, painting a stool in superhero colors for an upcoming big project. I was talking student loans with my friend Chris because co-incidentally I had recently gotten a statement letting me know that I still owe about $20k for my MBA. The MBA that I busted my hump to earn. That would enable me to become a manager and climb the corporate ladder (or whatever). And now I’m a stool painter (laugh if you like!).

And I say that sarcastically, because really, it’s the best job in the world.

Last January I quit my job to do this full time. The first Monday after I quit my job, I said to myself, “oh ____, what have I done?” Since then, I haven’t worried about what is going to happen to me or where the next paycheck is going to come from. I just work hard. I realize that not everyone has that luxury and that working hard for some still doesn’t pay the bills . . . and trust me, I am thankful. I’m a pretty anxiety ridden person, so it’s actually nice to not worry about something. My career just isn’t one of those things I fret about (trust me, there are plenty of other things!).

I think part of the reason I have ended up where I am now is because I never really had a career path. I started out college majoring in biology and art. Then I dropped art because I didn’t think I could make any money doing it – and I really didn’t know how to use a degree like that. Then I got a forestry degree at the University of Washington because I liked trees and hiking. But still, I wasn’t sure where to take that. Can you hike for a living? Which brings me to a memory. I took a job interview at an environmental engineering firm after college and I met the guy (don’t remember his name) at a restaurant called Palominos in downtown Seattle. I don’t remember much about that dinner – I don’t even remember if I got a job offer or not. But I do remember that after dinner I was given a fortune from the restaurant. I folded it open and it said something like “life is what happens when you are making other plans.” Little did I know that would be a foreshadowing of the rest of my life. I kept that in my car for a long time to remind myself of it, but I didn’t truly understand it until now. After ELEVEN jobs since I graduated with that Forestry degree.

I mean, I’m 36 and I haven’t taken the traditional path on anything. I’m not married. I live alone. I don’t have children. I went back and got a graduate degree as an adult. I don’t wear makeup. I like motorcycles and cars. I blog and freelance for a living now. And I really do love it. This is the life I was meant to live.

Last year was a really rough year for me. I moved away from Atlanta only to move back three months later. I had difficulties in my significant relationship. I got really disappointed in one of my brothers and his choice in a spouse. I lived with my parents and struggled with our relationships. And it took time to figure out how to make freelance work. I remember waking up in bed a few times thinking I was going to have a heart attack because things felt a bit overwhelming. It’s taken time, but everything has settled. My career is doing well. My boyfriend and I have figured things out. I’m getting along with my family. Are things perfect? No. But they are never going to be, and I don’t expect that.

So in all of that lies the update, and some interesting thoughts. I guess if you are like me, and painting things with superhero colors, embrace it. Because it’s where we are supposed to be, right?

Now I’d love to hear from you. I said “I got an MBA so I could paint things in superhero colors.” Answer this question: I got an __________ so that I could ____________. It can be anything, and it doesn’t have to mean you don’t like what you are doing now!


  1. Pressies by pebbles says

    I got a really expensive education (I live in England) so that I could talk about whether I want to be Princess Leia, Captain America or even eat my own poo and then run around the house being Princess Leia or Captain America but luckily not eating my own poo!!!

  2. susan@Organized31 says

    I got a BS in economics & a masters in human relations so I can be a stay-at-home mom blogger. Wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve done 15 years in the military (in transportation, Amy, so I getcha), and 2 other careers before blogging. It’s the journey of life not the destination that makes us interesting (or at least that’s what I tell myself). And with my degrees I make Superhero Coasters! http://organized31.blogspot.com/2013/04/if-super-heroes-used-coasters.html

  3. Michele @ The Scrap Shoppe says

    I got a _Masters in Chemistry_ so that I could __get paid to do something I like until I figure out what I am passionate about__. Then I’m going to go after what I’m passionate about and thank that Masters degree for supporting me until I get there.
    I’m glad you’re doing what you love, Amy!! That makes what you do even better. 😉

  4. MiccaRus says

    I got certified as a police officer so that I could be a room mother at my son’s school. But, I love every minute of it.

  5. Debra says

    I got a Master’s in Library Science so I could sign people on and off the internet! Seriously. Next year I plan on retiring and using my creativity to supplement my retirement pay. I am scared to death and excited at the same time. Your story gives me the confidence to go forward. Thanks!

  6. says

    I got a Master’s in Education so I could glue my fingers together while crafting. :)

    Kudos to you for following your dreams. I knew exactly what I wanted to do in life, and I had everything planned out. Things were going according to plan until my late 20s. And after lots of detours, I have no plan and am off the path. But I am very happy with the choices I made. And that’s what matters most, right?

  7. aLISA says

    I got an MBA so that I could work as an Admin Assistant by day, and sell Origami Owl jewelry by night… and quite honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way right now, I’m in a good place.

  8. Condo Blues says

    I got a BA in Public Relations so I can clean dog poo from the carpet when my dog is frightened by everything including the lovely man who installed my dishwasher today. Actually, her behavioral rehab is working – this is just another layer once we worked with her on something else. If you asked me when I was back in school if I would seek and out and help the hard case dogs, I’d probably have said no. But it is the toughest things I’ve ever done and loved.

  9. says

    I got a BS in Psychology so I could run nightclubs and bars….and raise a two year old at the age of 40. I love my life, even though it’s a far cry from what I thought I would be doing at this age (oh and trying not to get covered in Mod Podge every time I use it – that’s a skill I have yet to master). My mother has always said that life works it’s self out – sometimes you just have to play catch up to understand it.

  10. Becki Foster says

    I took business classes to kill time until I could be a stay at home mom. If I’d known I’d still be working as a school clerical aide at 64, I would have done the MBA for a lot better retirement – I think.

  11. Cara says

    I got degrees in engineering, chemistry and business so that I could become an art therapist!

  12. says

    Lovely update, Amy! You are obviously on the right path…you are making a living freelance and that makes YOU the superhero.

  13. Edamommy says

    I got two Masters Degrees from Ivy League Schools so that I could put my daughter on the bus, race to work to teach professors at another ‘prestigious’ university how to click their mouses and make pretty online courses, and then race home to meet the big yellow bus once more (then do long division). I think I might get a doctorate in something because I have a coupon.

  14. Lindsey says

    I got a BS in English so I could teach my two small children to be good, loving, kind, happy people, who, incidentally, love literature.

  15. Chris says

    I got a Masters in Education and a Library/Media Multiage licensure so I could turn around and become a Stay at Home Mom. :) Ya just never know where your passions will lead you.

  16. Sandy says

    I got an AAS degree as a Paralegal, which I did use for a number of years before retiring. I now happily stay home and craft, sew, quilt and enjoy life! One thing I have learned through this journey we call life is to expect the unexpected. When I was a young girl, I always thought I would get married young, have kids and maybe be a teacher. Turned out that I didn’t get married until I was 38, found out I couldn’t have children, and never did get that teaching degree! You never know where life will take you, so just hang on and enjoy the ride!

  17. Carrie says

    I got an MBA, MA in Sociology, and an MA in Asian Studies so I could glue things to other things and do a webseries about it. Following your heart may not make you rich…but it will make you happy!

  18. K-Dunks says

    Yo sis. Things never seem to work out the way we want or thought they would. I never reckoned I’d be in Vancouver now. Even still, we love you and miss you. We’ll be down in Atlanta in October for certain if not possibly in July as well. See you then.

  19. says

    Amy – i got a Hair/Nail and Cosmotology License so i could earn money while i figured life out – then i met a guy who turned my life upside down, got married, had 2 kids and decided my body couldnt take the abuse. Worked as a telemarketer, insurance asst., a cashier, a photo/sound clerk and had our third son, was a legal asst and billing person for 13 years, started my own concierge & errand biz to have that end 2 years into it for various reasons and am now working for a truck broker as his billing and project manager for the last 3 years. While i no longer work in a shop, the skills i learned in beauty school have served me well – making extra money on the side to provide gas, lunch money, craft mad money for me & my family – not to mention the ability to save $ on haircuts for my 3 boys, my hubby, my family, my friends and a couple strangers eho became friends (thanks to my MIL). My training has enabled me to not only be blessed but be a bkessing to others. However, that was never my plan… I wanted to be a ballerina, a vet and a teacher and if you stepped back and saw my life you could say that i have accomplished those dreams too – i dance in the kitchen, i take care of 5 cats and a newly rescued, dog, and i have taught sunday school, baptismal classes and my boys (all their lives – not homeschooled) so ive done ok. Next on the dream list? Finding my passion in whatever art form that takes, furniture painting for now… Writing… Marketing… Social media… Inspiring others to seek their passion in some way????
    Amy – thank you for always being transparent. Ive missed hearing about you & where you are with you work, you life and your craft – you are one exeptional lady who seems like things are going just the way you want it and i am so glad for you. Stay brave & always be blessed. (Sorry such a long monologue!!!)

  20. says

    I didn’t know you had a degree in forestry! Mine’s similar. I went to school to be a pastor so I could be a hippie blogger. It makes me laugh. But the cool thing about being a pastor is whether or not my paycheck comes from a church, I am still a pastor on the inside because it’s part of my wiring. And if I’m going to have a not-directly-related-to-my-degree job, this is the one I’d want hands down! Getting let go from my last (non-pastoring) job was the best thing that’s happened to me in a long time. It’s exactly what I needed.