Two weeks ago, I sat in front of a woman who told me there were no jobs for “creatives like me”. With a straight face, she explained to me that there were a ton of receptionist jobs for a “girl like me”.
As I sat across from her and tried to control my facial expressions, I remembered that it’s officially been a year since I graduated from college.
This year, I fell in love then got my heart broken. I had a stable job and three internships, then lost all but one. I worked with my idol only to find out she was nothing like I expected. I found a piece of mind only to be on the brink of losing it once again. Life comes at you fast. I’ve even considered calling 2015: The Year of The L’s. Despite all the setbacks, this year has taught me one important thing: don’t settle.
Settling was my worst fear before graduating. I didn’t want to sit behind a desk doing something I hated for a check. With every essay I wrote, I would envision myself being around the people I loved and actually doing what I loved. But once I graduated, the urgency to be fake grown, pay bills and my student loan off was all I could think about. I saw myself slowly slipping into the comfort of conformity. My dreams of traveling and simply being happy seemed further and further to reach.
I would wake up, go to work, go home, sleep and do it all again in less than 8 hours for 5 days out of the week. Though I was grateful to be making money on a consistent basis, I wasn’t happy. I’d get random waves of inspiration and scribble my ideas on post-its in between ringing up customers. Not having enough time to do explore the things I was passionate about made me miserable.
So as I sat across from a random woman, who looked confused when I told her I was interested in jobs in my field…(you know, the field I went to school for, the field I’m in debt for). I decided that this was the push I needed. Who knew that a stranger’s doubt would inspire me to get back on the path to my dreams? As soon as that interview was over, I spent my last $75 on a new lens for my camera and sent out emails.
I practiced shooting my friends and family everyday. I started going out more and covering random events with my friend, Jeff Stashbox. I’ve started opening up and reaching out to the right people to cover shows all while (of course) still applying for jobs in journalism. Though I’m not in the place I envisioned myself to be at this time last year, I see myself getting closer to my goals. If 2015 was the “Year of the L’s” (for lessons not losses), then 2016 is going to be all about bringing everything I learned into fruition.