Inspirational Interview with Adrienne Randall
Today’s inspirational interview is with Adrienne Randall. She was born in Syalcauga, AL and grew up an Army “brat”. She lived in 7 states and changed school 41 times before she finally graduated from high school in Sparta, WI in 1996. She then graduated from Winona Sate University in 2008 with a BS in Exercise Science: Movement Science Option. She is married to Matt Randall and has one child from a previous marriage, Kari (pronounced car-ee).
Adrienne and I met in high school and have recently reconnected through Facebook. She is using her own personal story along with my book “Live Life For a Living” to help a childhood friend in need. She believes we could all use a little inspiration to help us make ourselves happier. I admire Adrienne’s recognition that happiness is created from within ourselves. From my perspective, she has always created her own life experiences, instead of waiting for things to happen to her or expecting things to fall effortlessly into her lap. She is continuing to manifest her happiness by working her dream job as a service coordinator, helping those with special needs. I asked her to share her story and here’s what she had to say:
What struggles did you encounter in order to become successful doing what you love?
I had to figure out that I mattered. Mostly to myself. I was looking for purpose from the outside. It took me many years to realize that what others wanted for me didn’t matter. I had wants and needs that needed to be fulfilled. I needed to matter to me. Once I came to terms with this, I got rid of all the “toxic” people in my life, including some family members.
I then got rid of the toxins I was putting in my body (i.e. food, cigarettes, alcohol and lazines). I enrolled myself in college. I thought that I wanted to be a Physical Therapist Assistant. I quickly realized that I was not going to be satisfied with this choice. So, I transferred to Winona State University where I entered a program that would set me up to go into a master’s Physical Therapy program. I graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise Science: Movement Science Option.
I was finally on the track to be a Physical Therapist and work with children with disabilities. A year later, I was unable to afford the GRE test in order to attend graduate school, so I tried to get a job to save the money. I found that because I had been a waitress for 15 years I had zero experience in the field for the jobs I was applying and interviewing for. I took a lower paying job so that I could gain experience. I was doing direct care for individuals with disabilities. It was paying less than I was making waitressing and I wasn’t happy with my position or the hours I was keeping.
In 2010, I began dating my husband. I started to rethink my goals and began looking within myself again. Looking for that spark. Just looking, not listening. When I noticed this I started listening. I knew that I was in love with my life partner and I needed to work on this relationship because it was what I wanted. We had a wedding to remember.
After securing that life event, I started looking for my dream job. I was looking again at graduate school, but was not able to make a decision. Then one day I happened to look at my company’s job openings. I noticed a new position and I decided to apply. It was less hours and the pay rate was not listed. I decided that even if I was only getting paid my current rate, it was going to be an improvement. I interviewed on a Friday and was offered the position the following Monday. I have only worked this position for a short time, but I am having the time of my life!
What people, places, or things motivated you to make your dreams come true?
I was married, a parent and divorced at a very young age. When my daughter started Kindergarten I decided that I didn’t want her to grow up thinking that where you are is all there is in life. I was in a rut and I needed to climb out of it. At that moment I decided I didn’t want to be a waitress for the rest of my life and I needed to do something about it!
How did you deal with fear, doubt and worry?
During college this was easy. I would drown myself in my studies, work, and extracurricular activities (mine or my daughter’s). When I graduated I found myself with a lot of extra time on my hands. I learned to meditate. This was very important. Many times our conscious pushes harsh or overwhelming things into our subconscious. I came to terms with my fears in that I faced them head on. I learned that I had to ask, because the worst answer anyone could give me was “no”. It even gave me the confidence to talk to my creditors.
How long did it take you to get to where you are now?
It took me 34 years to get to where I am now. I come from a dysfuncitonal family. I grew up with abuse and stayed in that cycle into my adult years. I have overcome this abuse, depression and even suicidal thoughts. I have learned to cope with the help of therapists and friends. My whole life has been a struggle. But it made me the strong, confident, educated, and happy woman I am today. I like to think that I was always wanting a better life for myself; I just needed the tools to go for it.
Who or what inspires you to stay motivated?
I looked at my senior yearbook and what I wrote. At age 25 I was going to be a teacher, married, and maybe a mother. Between the lines I think I was telling myself that at age 25 I was going to be “happy”. I wasn’t. I think back to that 18 year old and how sad, angry, and uninspired she was. I never want to go back to being that girl. I have a great support group of friends and my husbands family that tell me how proud they are of me. No one I am friends with now knew me then, except my husband. They know my story and have seen how I have grown over the past several years. This is enough for me to keep going. I reach for the stars and will not stop until I catch one.
Adrienne, thanks so much for sharing your inspirational story about pursuing and reaching your dream job! As a last note, I’d like to share your email signature with the My Dreams Matter fans. I think it really sums up Adrienne’s personality well (and my own, I don’t mind adding)…
“Enabling: A Form of Codependence”