Dream Come True
I was like any other kid back then. I dreamed of superheroes. And there were tons of them. Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Professor-X, Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, you name it.
I think my favorite was probably the X-Men back then. Always found Gambit to be enthralling.
I’m sure every kid had a favorite superhero. In elementary school, we even had those Marvel trading cards of Thanos, Galactus, and Spider-Man - where we’d compare and contrast the strengths of each.
We have a culture where we are fond of the hero. The good guy. The one who eventually gets the girl, saves the day, and is admired by all. And lives a life of happily ever after.
And this got me hooked on to Marvel - with their plethora of superhero (and supervillain) characters. I was a big fan of the company and their comic books (and still am).
As a kid, I found the superhero mentality to be worth it. After all, every child needs to envision himself as an unbeatable hero who fights against the odds to achieve success.
And I am lucky enough to have been able to land a job at Marvel Entertainment back in the late 2000s as a licensing analyst. I can’t thank my college friend enough for hooking me up with the proper connections.
It was a dream come true to work for my childhood company. Arguably, one of my favorite companies that I grew up admiring ever since I was a little boy.
How cool would it be to have special powers? To shoot fireballs and lightning bolts. To have super strength, super speed, super flight, super intelligence, super mind-reading skills. Super everything!
But, working at Marvel wasn’t as glorified as it seemed to be. I was working as a licensing analyst in their finance division. And for most of the days, I would be uploading reports onto their system.
The task was quite algorithmic and required lots of time to do. And I can’t say that I thoroughly enjoyed it.
In addition, I was slightly struggling with social anxiety back then. So, the political game of a typical work environment was a bit awkward for me. I didn’t know what to do. Didn’t know what to say.
And I mainly tried to keep my head down and work on what I needed to do. Just get to 5 or 6 PM, and you’re free to go!
Working at Marvel wasn’t the typical superhero story for me. Sometimes, it’s a case of how getting the dream job that you want isn’t necessarily how you envision it.
I was doing a lot of data entry. A lot of uploading reports. A lot of system maintenance. And it didn’t feel like I was a superhero waiting to happen.
I was just another cog in the machine. Going thru the politics. Going thru the mechanics of it all. And it was far from perfect.
I learned that a dream come true may not be how you foresaw it to be. Dreams are different from the reality of work.
Even at Marvel, the company that I admired so much as a child, I wasn’t feeling fully content.
Although I have to say that I am grateful for the experience I’ve accumulated there, and wish my colleagues the best.
Some are still at the team, while others have moved on to other places. That’s work. It comes and goes.
I was happy with the perks, and shared it with my friends. The movie screenings of Iron Man and Hulk, and the discounts off Marvel merchandise were some of the benefits that I remembered.
But still, experiencing Marvel from the perspective of work was different from Marvel as the fun comic-book company that I took in as a consumer in the 1990s.
Yes, working there was considered a dream come true, but sometimes dreams are not as you think they are. There is a reason why they call it a dream and not reality.
Working for Marvel was a form of my childhood dream come to life. And I enjoyed the moment, but there were a lot of issues back then that I took on as baggage.
This was no fault to myself, nor to my co-workers. It was just a means of life hitting you in the face. The politics. My social anxiety. My responsibilities. It just wasn’t meant to be.
So, I moved on from Marvel after two years and began to pursue my two-year MBA. Another dream that was less than ideal, but one that I am equally grateful to have experienced.
It’s okay to dream big. It’s okay to fight for your dream. As long as you realize that once you achieve your dream, it could be less than ideal. There are always kinks here and there, no matter how perfect the situation looks from the outside.
When your dream comes true, make sure that you appreciate not just the beauties of it, but the kinks as well. They make life worth experiencing to the fullest.