I don’t know about you, but I’m having a blast with these Motivation Monday interviews. It’s so fascinating to hear about everyday people who have a dream (or two or three…) and are not afraid to go after it and achieve it!
I’m thrilled to introduce Jordan McGee to you today. Her story is that of a young dream seeker who kept her sights firmly on the prize. She was astonished by the timeframe it took to accomplish her fascinating goal and I’m sure you’ll be surprised as well…
Bucket List [buhk-it list] – noun
- a wish list of things to do before one ”kicks the bucket.”
Jordan: I’m a Chicago-born twenty-something who has lived in Las Vegas a little more than four years (also a little longer than expected!). Trained as a journalist, I currently work in corporate communications/PR for an architecture firm. Always the over-achiever, I also do marketing/PR for a Las Vegas arts organization (Nevada Pops–come see us!) and work with the NV-1 DMAT (Disaster Medical Assistance Team–we’re the government’s first responders in disaster situations). Oh, and I sell Pampered Chef on the side because I don’t already have enough to do! 😉
Melody: Wow, you’re a busy woman! I’m exhausted just reading a ‘little’ about yourself. Tell me about one item you’ve checked off your bucket list?
Jordan: Working at the White House–I interned with the Press Advance Office in 2004. Politics aside, it was awesome to be there, but even more awesome to be there in the home stretch of a campaign. I worked insane hours, was under incredible pressure, and loved every minute of it. I literally walked in everyday in as much amazement as the first–I’d be taking deep breaths and telling myself, “Soak it in! Don’t forget this moment and how great it feels!”
Melody: To have accomplished something so extraordinary at such a young age is simply amazing! When did this become a goal of yours?
Jordan: In high school–I became really engaged by the governmental process then. I’m a huge geek about politics/policy–my iPhone has copies of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution on it, so I’m armed and ready if I need to reference something I can’t recall. (And if you spend the Fourth of July with me, you’ll participate in a reading of the Declaration–I look forward to it all year!) Anyway, I’d been going door-to-door for candidates since I was about 12, but it took me until high school to really start to grasp it all–the magnitude of what we were doing on election day, how we got there, and why it was so important.
Melody: After learning what is on your iPhone, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit what is on mine. I promise all the kid games are for my two year old, not me.
What was the driving factor behind your passion?
Jordan: If you’re a policy wonk like me, there’s nowhere greater to go. It’s the ultimate! I was too young to put qualifiers on my goal–I didn’t tie myself up with what I would actually do there–I just wanted to get there somehow, some way. You could have asked me to sweep the floors, and I would have eagerly accepted. That I was able to be there doing something that I love–working with the media and doing large-scale event-planning–was more than I could have ever hoped for as a teenager.
Melody: At any point, did you think you wouldn’t make it to the White House? Were you ever tempted to give up?
Jordan: Yes and no. When I set the goal for myself, I was still at an age where the world was my oyster. You don’t have to be realistic at 16! So, at the time I decided this was something I wanted to do, I was sure that I’d get there someday. I figured it would be when I was in my 40s or 50s, though, somewhere far down the road.
In 2003, I was fortunate enough to score an internship in media relations at the FCC. After accepting that position, I remember sitting on my mom’s bed and telling her how cool it would be if I could somehow get a White House internship the following summer–we both thought we were dreaming! In my mind, those internships were reserved for the privileged; kids of parents who were politically connected, so I didn’t think for a million years that my ticket to the White House would be through an internship. How wrong I was! I met some really great people while working for the FCC, and one of them worked with the White House Advance Office–he recommended me to his colleagues and helped guide me through the application process the following spring. I had never worked so hard to sell myself in my life–I spent more time on that application than I did on most of the homework I received in my entire college career! One year later, I was back in D.C. and, trust me, no one was more surprised than me! I was 20 and had already checked off the number one item on my bucket list!
Jordan: I never had a chance to really doubt myself. I wasn’t aiming to get there as soon as I did; it sort of just fell into my lap. At the time I set the goal, I figured I’d start worrying about getting to the White House when I hit 30 or some other age that was far enough into the future that I didn’t need to think about it at that moment. It’s something I’ve struggled with, actually, because it feels like you’re supposed to spend years working toward that ultimate goal. I came back and said, OK, now what? I’ve done it; I’ve already done what I wanted to do with my life and where do I go from here? How can anything I strive to achieve measure up to that? So, it’s actually post-achievement that I’ve needed something to keep me going. I think it generally takes so long to check off everything on a bucket list that no one ever gets to discussing what you do after you finish it! I basically had to start from scratch, find something else that I really wanted, and make that my purpose going forward. And, honestly, it’s still in flux–what I really wanted last years isn’t necessarily what I want this year, so I haven’t found another ultimate goal yet, but the quest is kind of exciting in itself…and is definitely enough to keep me going. (By the way, I’m open to suggestions!)
Melody: After learning more about you, I’d love to know your advice for people striving to reach their goals.
Jordan: Don’t discount anyone you meet, and always put your best food forward. You never know who is going to be able to lend a hand in helping you meet your goals.
Melody: Excellent advice, Jordan! What are some other things on your bucket list you hope to accomplish?
Jordan: As I mentioned earlier, this remains in flux, but these have been constants: I broke from my journalism roots a few years ago and started writing fiction–it’s what I do to unwind. I’d love to publish one of the couple novels I’m working on, because I think they’re shaping up to be pretty good. I’d love to return to the White House, too, because I think it would be a blast to be a press secretary or chief-of-staff. I’d like to run for office someday, too, because I think I’d be great at it. But first, I’m going to finish one of these books!
Melody: What’s your favorite inspirational quote?
Jordan: “From the smallest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and everything we have comes from one attribute of man–the function of his reasoning mind.” -Ayn Rand
Melody: Jordan, thank you so much for sharing your absolutely amazing story! It definitely throws more fuel to the fire in staying dedicated to my goal. I know it will be inspiring to many! I can’t wait to hear about how all the other goals in your life transpire. Just promise me you’ll do another interview.
If you or anyone you know would be interested in an interview, just click HERE to email me and we’ll chat.
©2010 Melody G. Fritchley