It’s strange to look back on where I was a year ago. A fresh college graduate, working a part time job I was anxious to leave as soon as I began, seeing the future full of possibility with no clue as to where to begin. I didn’t feel the need to rush into anything, especially grad school. I wanted to enjoy the accomplishment of making it through those tumultuous, adventurous four years.
Graduation day was filled with complete and utter happiness.I was proud of the hard work I put in after a rough year and being surrounded by family and true friends made for more of a celebration. Two schools, Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees, and a group of people I found a home with through our love of dance. I was finally making a decent amount of money and despite the late hours and my schedule being hijacked around work, I was determined to enjoy my summer. And I did. I met a few of my favorite people, saw a Broadway show, went to a Taylor Swift concert at Metlife Stadium and genuinely did things I wanted to do.
I think a lot is very much the same. I’m still working the part time job that tests my limits, I’m still a major procrastinator and I’m still just as scared as I was when the high of graduation wore off.
A lot can happen in a year. I met up with a friend of mine a few weeks ago whom I hadn’t seen since last year and it blew our minds how different our lives are now. She's married and moved out, I'm working towards building my writing career. A year ago I had a best friend. A year ago I was barely writing. A year ago I was convinced my future was doomed. A year ago I was lost.
Time teaches you a lot of lessons. Last year my blog was inconsistent, my articles for my internships were sparse and my fears strong. I think the things life throws at us makes us tougher people. They make us reevaluate what we want for ourselves and encourages us to look forward, despite out doubts.
This year I lost people, but I found myself. I'm still finding myself, but I don't feel as clouded with indecision as I was a year ago. If you had asked me after graduation what I was doing with my writing I didn't have an answer. The looks of pity and comments of disbelief threatened my confidence.
But, I was determined to get my words that echoed through my mind out to the hearts that needed to hear them. So, I started writing. The first step is eliminating distractions, and that was part of my problem, it still is. I made and still make excuses but I know the minute I tell myself to focus is the minute the words begin to flow and I fall in love with storytelling all over again.
I’ve never had the greatest sense of self-esteem. For the past few years, I’ve been working towards putting myself first. I am a people pleaser. I care a lot about people and therefore what people think is taken more into consideration than necessary. I am a people lover. I put a lot of my time and energy checking up on people and looking out for people and genuinely caring for other people. As a result, I often forget about myself. I love on other people, but oftentimes forget to do myself the same courtesy.
Sometimes it takes the end of a chapter in your life to realize how valuable you are. You need time to grieve to realize the pain isn't worth it. If someone or something is affecting your happiness, it's time to let go. And let go I did. I still struggle with confidence but it gets easier. I still pressure myself to be better and I'm still my biggest critic, but I'm doing more. My writing is reaching people. My words are going further than I ever thought they would. There is still room for improvement. There is always room to improve, but if you told me a year ago I'd have started my own magazine that would be viewed up to 1K times I would never have believed you.
If I'm not sitting in front of my laptop typing out the next great American novel then you'll probably find me curled up in bed devouring a book. I grew up in a ballet studio finding it best to express myself through the graceful movement. I'm currently trying to live up to Taylor Swift's ideal image of what 22 should look like while encouraging others to follow their dreams. A successful night for me is fulled with good food, laughter, conversations about everything and nothing, and did I mention food? I'm at my happiest singing along to my favorite songs with artists that inspire me, opening my heart up on stage and having meaningful conversations with good friends.