2021 is over, and this time of year is always unique since I like to reflect on the previous year, while also thinking ahead of what’s next. And boy oh boy, I have SO MUCH going on it’s insanity. I’ve been on this blog during seasons of quietness (which are equally hard in a different way, I suppose). But this is not one of those seasons.
Since graduating college in 2019, things have been relatively slow-going on the job front… until now. NOW, I’ve got all kinds of kernels in the fire, just waiting to pop. I’m loving my staff writing position with Grove Collaborative, helping high school students chase their own writing dreams, and still freelance editing for clients as well. And that’s not even the tip of the iceberg – I’ve got other gigs on the side that I’m now in the process of culling and organizing.
Point is, life is good. I still don’t have a boyfriend, but life is pretty amazing – and there’s so much more to it than all that. So this month, I wanted to hop on here and share a little bit about what NOT to do – no matter what stage of life you’re in. Positivity is always crucial, and there are so many lessons I wish I learned sooner. Read on for all that and more as I demystify my seemingly-sporadic success (believe me, it all came out of nowhere).
#1: Don’t sell yourself short.
I know, you’ve probably heard this one a million bazillion kajillion times – but hear me out. It’s so easy to look around at your peers and feel like you’re way far behind. But the secret, which I wish I realized sooner, is that you can’t compare timelines with other people. We’re all on the path God planned for us, so you’re much better off just living your best life and trusting His plan.
#2: Don’t expect your life to change overnight.
Gradual changes are much more realistic, and you won’t be able to sustain the new life changes unless they’re gradual anyway. Start by setting yourself up for success by eating healthy, getting plenty of sleep, and accepting yourself the way you are. As a good friend taught me, you can’t change your reality until you accept your current one – even if it’s an absolute mess. Jump right in, and find the joy in the uncertainty. After all, that’s what makes life amazing.
#3: Don’t feel like you have to do life alone.
I’m not gonna pretend I know anything about you or your family life, but I’d wager that there are at least some tensions that you’d rather not think about. My family has elements of that too, so believe me – I get it. But what I want you to take from this is that your networking groups are your lifeline (professionally, and sometimes otherwise too). In the job search world, the common adage is “it’s not what you know; it’s who you now”. Not until I got to a few years post-grad did I witness for myself how true that is. Since then, I landed on the very same podcast show that recently hosted Clinton Kelly (yes, the hilariously blunt yet genius lead on TLC’s iconic show What Not to Wear). I met the amazing Liz Theresa through a college classmate who used to work with her. You can listen to my episode of the Liz on Biz podcast HERE, and be sure to check out the more recent episode with Clinton Kelly as well. And know that wild connections can really come out of anywhere. I’ve got a couple other examples of this phenomenon that I’m gonna keep close to the belt for now, but stay tuned for more soon once I have updates 😉
#4: Don’t be too hard on yourself.
The task of becoming is n0 small matter. If you’re like me whose college years are rapidly speeding farther and farther way in the rearview mirror, but you’re still craving stability and consistency – fear not. It does get better – sure, I’m still looking for it too. But I’ve made MAJOR progress when I compare where I was last year to this year. It’s a marathon, not a sprint – and those small steps are where the magic happens. So celebrate even the small wins, and don’t let anyone make you feel less than amazing for doing just that!
#5: Don’t tolerate negativity from anyone.
More recently, I’ve really cultivated a sense of internal confidence unrelated to what anyone else around me thinks. And man oh man, is it an incredible feeling. I like to describe it as vibrating at a higher frequency than where I used to be – it’s like all my insecurities and social anxiety just exists… below me somewhere. I rose above it with constant awareness and a strong motivation to better myself. And gratitude helps a lot too – when you switch into a mode of thankfulness over grouchiness, more magic happens. I’m seeing, slowly but surely, that mind over matter is so real. Now I just wish I could go back in time and comfort that sad, angry, tired girl in the college counselor’s office who was told she wasn’t good enough for her dream school (I wish I was making that up). I’d also tell her not only did she get into that school, but also got a massive merit scholarship to attend there before graduating Magna Cum Laude. Long story short: most people suck. Don’t give them the time of day when they try to suck your joy and drag you into their poorly-attended pity party.
I did, however, get to sort of go back in time in my latest book concept. If you’re curious, you can read Forgetting What I Couldn’t Remember HERE.
I hope you’re finding yourself somewhere amazing in 2022. And if you’re not yet, maybe this blog post gave you the tools to get there really soon. Whether or not you’re a writer, these are helpful lessons that made a world of difference for me. Love life, live well, and I’ll talk to ya soon 💖