The new American Dream: My Story.

I had turned 41 and was sitting at my desk at work, feeling panicked and desperate. At this point in my life I obtained a strong sense of self with dreams so clear that I could almost touch them, yet I was living the exact opposite of the life I imagined. I followed the rules. I’m happily married, a home-owner, with two cars, a respectable job, and a retirement account. This was the American Dream, right? Why am I not happy? Why does this feel more like a prison of societal expectations, and less like a dream? Why is there so much value on stuff rather than experiences and human connection? Questions that haunted me like a Stephen King novel while at work…not a good sign.

Before the Recession I was self-employed working in destination event planning. I traveled, wrote articles on etiquette, and filled in as officiant or wedding singer if the emergency called for it. Life was exciting, and with my calling the shots, guiding my own schedule, I felt in control. However, that specific time in history also required balance and security that the event industry could not offer (people were still getting married but opting for backyard soirees instead of platinum wedding blowouts). I was okay with this as event planning was not a nine-to-five job and burn-out is possible even with the most exciting careers. I decided to return to higher education and broaden my horizons. Fast forward to a respectable corporate career, finding myself not being okay with someone else calling the shots in my life, working on their schedule, or being told when I could take a break or go to the Loo. I was tired of being told my ideas or concerns needed to be kept to myself, and that calling out office injustices within a corporate setting was not being a good “team player”.  I had a voice, a purpose, and a fire that was at risk of being snuffed out. I found myself needing to find a new American Dream. With all of the pertinent items on society’s checklist checked off I was still feeling anxious, dissatisfied, bored, and unfulfilled. Was I just ungrateful or had I accomplished what I needed to thus far and in major need of some inspiration? It was time for serious self-reflection, re-evaluation, and re-invention. It was also time to be my own Boss once again.

Time for Change: After much discussion with my incredibly loving, understanding, supportive husband Kevin, along with a plan of action, we sell our house in Portland, Oregon and move to Boise, Idaho. Kevin can continue his work and contributions in public health, and we can live a simpler, more minimal-in-material existence. Boise is the perfect setting for much needed calm quiet to begin new chapters. Where the geography is rich with sunsets, landscapes, and agriculture supporting an artists’ creative juices, and a new business venture has a chance at success.

Introducing to you my new company, Expedition Confidential. This site will include everything I love, am inspired by, and curious about. My way of sharing all I have learned (and still learning as things are ever-evolving and progressing) in my career of 20+ years in travel and event planning, along with my curiosities in the way of history, art, cuisine, culture, and the mysterious. We will have Tips, How-to’s, Q&A’s, and My Favorite Things.  Join in, celebrate with me on this new journey, leave comments allowing me to get to know you ~ and Stay Tuned! Video content will be uploaded to YouTube, photos on Instagram, and articles on Pinterest.

Let’s Explore, Experience, and Evolve together…………

Melanie

 

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