One of the stops on our recent vacation was Olathe, Kansas (Kansas City area) to see our oldest daughter, Juliana, who moved there three months ago. She’s the one I mentioned in my post “How Does A Klutz Become A Dancer?” This is the same girl who, right after graduating from High School, was given no choice but to move to China with her parents and two younger siblings. “What am I going to do in China,” she asked? I’ll tell you what she did. She started a dance school.
I was working at an international JK – 12 school and Juliana saw an opportunity. She started classes in the cafeteria after school. She had classes by age group and by dance style (Hip-hop, Jazz, Lyrical, Ballet, etc.). The junior Kindergarten kids were adorable and she even had some of the staff in classes. She learned how to get costumes made and had several full recitals over the two years we were there. She charged for the classes but also held bake sales to raise money for a scholarship fund so no one who wanted to dance was unable to.
Fast forward to three months ago. Juliana has become a Dental Assistant. She was working and living in an apartment with two other girls in the same town as us . The three of them lived in a two bedroom, two bath apartment that cost them over $1,700 a month for rent. Their transportation was a minivan Juliana’s roommate had borrowed from her dad. When their lease was up, the roommate decided to move home to save money so she could buy a car. Juliana and her two dogs moved in with us temporarily.
Time to Get Out of Dodge
After several months of living with her parents again, Juliana wanted to get back out on her own. She decided to leave California because of the cost of living and she does not like the hot summers. So, where do you go? She had three criteria for choosing another place to live and work. One, it had to be a state where her Dental Assistant credentials would be accepted with no additional work. Two, there had to be a family member or friend living there so she wouldn’t be completely on her own (that one may have been influenced by mom). Three she had to be able to afford an apartment on her own.
After a couple weeks of research Juliana zeroed in on Olathe, Kansas. She has a cousin there who agreed to let her stay until she got a place. She had put her name out in the area and had several phone interviews which led to invitations to in-person interviews, so she packed her stuff and her dogs into a rented minivan, got a friend to drive along with her and hit the road.
Within two weeks of arriving in Olathe, Juliana, after having several working interviews with different Dental offices, had multiple job offers. She loves the office where she’s working and the pay and benefits are far better than she had in California. Better pay and benefits with the lower cost of living, I’d say she landed pretty well. She found a two bedroom, one bath apartment that she can afford on her own (with her two dogs). That’s the girl we went to visit.
Dancers Gotta Dance
We arrived on a Monday night. Juliana got the next day off so we had an evening, all day on Tuesday, and the morning of Wednesday together. She took us to the Kansas City Market downtown, to Union Station and to a cool “Made In Kansas City” shop with some amazing ice cream. The day we left, we had brunch at a local breakfast-and-lunch-only place that was delicious.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time with Juliana. One thing that tickled me happened the night we arrived. We planned to have dinner together which we did, but before we had dinner, Juliana wanted to keep her appointment. It was her class at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio where she’s moved on from Hip-hop, Jazz, Lyrical and Ballet to Ballroom and Swing. Hey, dancers gotta dance. I love that she’s doing that.
O Yeah, The Book
Suzi and I needed something to do while Juliana was at her dance class. I took Suzi to a nearby store where she wanted to look for a few things and, at her suggestion, I want across the street to a Barnes and Noble Bookstore.
On the way to the bookstore I remembered a book I’d been wanting to get so I went in, bought it, and started reading it in the car while I waited for Suzi and Juliana. The book is called The Go-Giver: A Little Story About A Powerful Business Idea. It’s by Bob Burg and John David Mann. I absolutely loved it. I’ve read it twice already. The title is a link to the book so you can check it out.
Stories can have purpose. I could have shared this story (actually there are several stories here) to a number of ends. I could want to talk about entrepreneurship (dance school in China) or to introduce you to the character of my daughter. I may want to highlight some of the spots in Kansas City or talk about the comparative cost of living in different parts of the country. I definitely wanted to introduce you to a great book. What other purposes could you see for these stories? What are some of your stories that can have a purpose?