I met Moneé in Baltimore last November when I was invited for a press tour. She is a Travel Media Manager for VisitBaltimore, which means she helped organize all of the details of the trip for myself and the other writers who were in town for the tour. Her job was to sell me on Baltimore – which she did – but she also managed to inspire me to worry a little less about “how to make a living from my passion.”
Moneé spends two nights a week taking American Sign Language classes at a local college and attends at least one Deaf-related community event each month. She voluntarily took on this time commitment despite already having a full-time job and a college degree.
ASL has nothing to do with her job and she has no immediate plans to “do” anything with the education she’s receiving when she’s finished.
When I asked her over lunch why she was taking the classes she smiled, shrugged, and said “I just always wanted to do it.”
How often do we tell ourselves that “just wanting to do it” isn’t a good enough reason for spending time or money?
Moneé is working towards an Interpreter Preparation Certificate, which she says is ideal for people who may want to become ASL Interpreters but already have a degree in another field. It normally takes about two years to earn this certificate, but it will likely take her three or four years to complete the program because she can only attend classes on a part-time schedule.
When she told me about this timeline originally, I was impressed at how calmly she talked about spending three or four years working towards a two-year certification. She didn’t seem disappointed or rushed, she just talked about all the things she was enjoying about the process.
How many times have we not bothered to start a project because it will take too long to finish?
I asked Moneé what happened that made her decide to finally take the class after being out of school for 10 years. I always imagine there is some a-ha moment that pushes us over the edge, making us just pull the damn trigger already.
But she says “nothing in particular happened”, and I imagine her smiling and shrugging again as she talks about finding out her company offered tuition reimbursement and a nearby college offered the classes she was interested in. “I decided to step out of the box and go for it!”
When was the last time we decided to step out of the box and go for it?
Moneé reminds me that we don’t need to know how it all works out. We don’t need a practical reason for pursuing a passion or a dramatic eureka moment to justify making a decision.
We just need to smile, shrug our shoulders, and finally do what the hell we want.