For months, I felt like I was constantly writing, working on my online endeavors. I wanted to write, find others in the community to connect with, and sink my teeth into some work.
For a long time, I felt like I was doing things without much feedback or response — I was on my own little island of solitude. It was a bit disheartening, but I kept going. I enjoy blogging with or without the opportunities it presents.
Then in a sudden twist of fate, it seemed like people were knocking on my door with opportunities. Not only my door, but my window, too. Seemingly all at the same time. One thing led to another, and I found myself scared and excited to enter new territory.
As I adjust to full-time work while juggling freelance work, I can now reflect on the many ways I was unprepared for all of this. Recently, I’ve felt like I was scrambling to get things done, update materials, etc.
I realize that as I was plugging away, just hoping for an opportunity, I pushed a lot aside because I deemed it unnecessary at the time. I thought, “I’ll update to a professional design when it’s time. Bio? No one cares about reading mine! Resume? Haha, you know I’m a blogger, right?”
All of these things sort of bit me in the ass. I now realize doing these things when it’s “the right time” is too freaking late!
When you are working towards something, and you can’t quite see what it is, but you know where you want to go, be ready for it. Just because you can’t see it coming, doesn’t mean it’s not right around the corner. You don’t want to miss an opportunity because you weren’t ready, or scramble to make something happen that ultimately comes off as being half-assed.
Embrace your greatness, and cultivate your dreams. Let your imagination run wild with possibilities, and know that sometimes reality can be sweeter than dreams, and better than anything you could have imagined.
All this to say, there will be some changes around here to make it look spiffier. I will continue to try to be the best version of myself, while still being brutally honest about the struggles of debt repayment and juggling multiple jobs.
It’s an interesting time for all this to happen – it’s been 3 years since I graduated from NYU with my master’s in Performance Studies. I know, it’s kind of a joke. You can laugh (while I’m dying on the inside).
The road from graduation to present has been paved with tumultuous experiences. I went from working in my field in NYC, but missing my love, to moving across the country, unable to find a job and saddled with student loan debt to be with him. As a workaholic, and as someone who paid for the privilege of going to one of the best schools, I felt worthless not having a job. It took me 1.5 years to find a full-time job in Portland, which forced me to get food stamps. It’s dawned on me that this city is really not for traditional employment, something that I resented when I didn’t have a clue about how to work for myself.
With all the negativity that surrounded the few years after graduation, things started to shift in the past year. I got a full-time job that challenges me and has given me the ability to learn amazing new skills. I officially launched Dear Debt and the Dear Debt letter project. I have friends online and in real life that support me, and an amazing partner who helps me keep it together.
Anniversaries are always nostalgic for me, so I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how different my life was 3 years ago. I was talking to my partner when a pang of doubt hit about my current situation.
What if I was supposed to work in the arts? My life used to be so much easier before grad school. Am I a fake? A phony? Do I know what I’m doing? I can’t believe I’m a personal finance writer!
He’s a very wise man and told me, “there is no ‘supposed to’. You’re not supposed to be anything, nor should you do anything. Do what you love, and go after the opportunities in front of you.”
He’s absolutely right. I am who I am, and I guess I am dealing with my own fractured feelings of who I am as a professional. Teaching Artist/Coordinator/Personal Finance Writer/Brand Ambassador/Events Assistant?
Instead of feeling divided about my various interests, passions, and money-making endeavors, I should be proud that I have such diverse interests that allow me to do so many things. I shouldn’t regret past decisions, because what does regret do? A whole lot of nothing. You can’t change what happened in the past. The bitter residue of regret might linger with you for a while, but all you can do is accept it, learn from it, and move on. Make it part of your story.
Because even though sometimes I feel like I do regret going to grad school, I know I wouldn’t have my blog if I never left L.A., and never went to grad school. I would have never experienced NYC or moved to Portland.
It’s all part of the adventure. So accept it, and be ready for the next chapter.