As the end of the semester approaches, I’m finding myself watching lots of “feel-good” movies and TV shows to help me pass the time. With mounting stress from papers, exams and the Christmas Concert, I find refuge in movies that have nice, happy endings dominated by storylines where the main characters consistently conquer adversity. After watching several of them, I’ve found a common theme: the importance of holding onto your dreams despite it all. After pondering this for several minutes on an elliptical, I’ve concluded that this inspiration is so much more than just a cheesy plot element for a movie. Rather, it can be that which can help us keep going along those long, lonely highways of our lives.

Naturally, the dreams I’ve had for myself have changed a lot over the years. When I was five, I aspired to work behind the counter at a video rental store. At 14, I was convinced I was the next host of “The Price is Right.” More recently during my time at college the stars had aligned for me to become a broadcast journalist or a lawyer saving the world one case at a time. I’ve since focused on entering the world of public relations, one that after much consideration seems like the right fit. For now…

The public relations profession is quite unique in the sense that almost every industry has a use for it. From Kraft Foods to Exxon Mobile, every company utilizes this field in some capacity. This ubiquity is good for my job outlook and encouraging in our less than ideal economic reality, but at the same time, it can be incredibly daunting. Where do I even start when looking for a job? The universal sentiment I’ve heard from industry professionals and professors is to find an organization that best matches my passions and values. Again, sounds easier said than done. However, after careful thought, I know exactly what I need to be shooting for: The RMS Queen Mary.

To make a long story short, if you’ve ever had a conversation with me, it’s most likely involved talking about the famous ocean liner to some extent or another. My life was forever changed after a trip to the ship when I was seven. I still vividly remember that experience: walking to the edge of the pier where the ship is moored while my parents bought tickets. Glancing up, I was awestruck by her sheer size. I leaned as far back as I could, seeing her jet black hull rise up for what seemed like forever into the sunny, southern California sky. It was love at first sight, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

The storyline of my life would be complete if I could land a job there. I can see the scene now: dramatic shot of me adjusting my tie in the mirror, driving to the ship briefcase in hand. The soundtrack would most likely have to be Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” which would rise to a climax as I stepped aboard the ship for my first day of work. I’d turn back, face the camera and smile in the distance as the credits would roll. I imagine this would have the same impact as Mary Tyler Moore’s dramatic hat toss.

The stars seemed to align this fall when the ship posted numerous managerial and hospitality openings for full-time positions. My heart nearly skipped a beat. Things never work out this well. Needless to say, I mailed off letters of application, resumes and references faster than you could say, “dreams come true”. This was my once in a lifetime opportunity; I was not about to let it slip through my hands.

Pie in the sky? Of course it is. But that didn’t stop me from doing it. In the words of others, not doing so would be the same thing as them saying no. Taking that leap of faith was truly terrifying. As I signed my name on the letter and sealed the envelope, my heart was pounding in my ears.

I know it sounds crazy, but I challenge you to do the same. Take that leap of faith. Follow that dream, wherever it may lie. Hold on to it throughout those dark, lonely roads with their curves, twists and turns. You’ll never know how things can end up.

In case you’re curious, I haven’t heard anything back from the Queen Mary. Am I going to let that get me down? Nope. Now the follow up process begins, for as they say, “I have not yet begun to fight!”

James Vair

A senior majoring in Political Science and Communication, James hails from Omaha, Nebraska. He focuses primarily on the unique things that define our everyday lives.

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