Ashley C for Story Tuesday
I haven’t always been this way. The one who has it all together. I mean at twenty-six I still don’t, but I can certainly tell you that I would have never thought I’d be where I am now as a teenager. Quite frankly, my friends were the ones who seemed to have it all together (you know the teen way). Yeah, I had a good head on my shoulders, but I was consumed more with my social life than school. College was an afterthought for me honestly.
I believe we’re sold a false image of what adulthood really is before we even reach our adult lives. Granted, we won’t know much at sixteen and seventeen years old, but we’re kind of sold a façade. The ‘you must go to college to get ahead in life, make a lot of money, and be successful’ mantra that we’ve all endured. So, we do. Only to get through college and get the biggest culture shock of our lives — IT’S ACTUALLY HARD GETTING A JOB IN YOUR FIELD AFTER GRADUATION. How is this even possible? You mean to tell me, I spent 4 years of my life studying curriculum I’m practically a professional in (tad bit exaggerated) to work retail or a job that serves me absolutely no purpose? Frantically and desperately trying to gain experience that no-one wants to give you. If you’re reading this thinking “yes girl, preach”.
I was you.
It took a journey with many left turns and some flat tires to get to my first successful stop. It’s easy to see what people are doing with no knowledge of what it took for them to get there. For myself, it was no easy trip. This time last year, I was stuck in a job that made me depressed every single day. I couldn’t understand how I had gotten to this point when I envisioned myself doing so much more after college. I was an Assistant Manager at Abercrombie and Fitch in Redondo Beach, CA. I started the position in 2015, two months from finishing my undergrad curriculum while I waited on graduation to come around. It was also my very first job, EVER. Yes..I know at 23, I had never had a job. Not because I didn’t want one, but the demands of childhood athletics and eventually NCAA Track and Field didn’t allow me to. I didn’t even intern. See, what I really wanted to do was be in Broadcast Media and only anticipated being at A&F for six months. As my one year work anniversary was beginning to come around, I knew that I had to make some kind of life-altering change. Since I wasn’t having any luck finding a job in the field I wanted to be in.. I mean not even getting one solid interview— I decided maybe it was best to go back to school and get my masters. So that’s what I started preparing for in 2016.
Life has a way of changing you for the better and God is perfect at placing people in your path to help you along your journey, as well as taking things away that prepare you for something much better. That part specifically I didn’t understand right away. Grad school never happened (so much for a life-altering change). I didn’t get accepted into the program that I thought all my steps were leading me towards. I was confused, mainly because it only seemed right! If I’m not going to go to school to get a shot at what I want to do— how else will I with no experience? I asked myself that question almost daily. I became sadder.. more confused and questioning my purpose. I hated feeling that way. This was a desire that burned deep within me, I didn’t want anything else. I didn’t want to waste my twenties in another unsatisfying job. I refused. So, I decided it was time to move.
I was thinking of packing my stuff up and just moving to Michigan to be closer to my boyfriend. We have so many plans it just seemed logical at the time, but the support we give to each other is unmatched. He knows my biggest dreams and what sets my soul on fire. He, my best friend and my family all told me to keep chasing when I was about ready to give up. I mean after two years of not even getting an interview, not getting into grad school AND a layoff… you pretty much run out of options. Although we would love to be together in the same city, he gets my vision.. he gets where I’m trying to go and what I’m trying to build— on my own and collectively with him. However, I decided that it was best to go to Fresno first and get on my feet. Little did I know, a life-altering change was about to take place after all.
The day I was packing my stuff up to leave Los Angeles, I applied for an Account Executive position in the Fresno market with CBS47. I hesitated initially.. but listened to my soul telling me to apply even though I had no experience for the position. (Quick tip: Never let a title make you feel unqualified or unfit). I guess I was so used to getting rejection emails at this point that I just threw it to the back of my mind, but about thirty minutes after applying, I got a call from that job. The first thing I was asked was what I thought about having a career in Broadcast Media. My reply was simple, I’ve been trying for two years. I got a phone interview set up by the end of the call. It's so weird how one positive shift can make you start to feel more changes to come. I hadn’t even moved yet and I already got one step closer to what I had been praying two years for.
I was at a place where I was ready to start blossoming in womanhood and start my career. I wanted to create a life I loved to prepare for everything I wanted to build towards. There were nights of confusion and fear of the unknown still, but I stayed faithful in the direction the Lord was taking me. Every orchestrated step was all part of his divine plan and I told my self that repeatedly.
On August 1, I woke up feeling like a huge shift was going to happen for me. I had just killed my fifth interview/presentation for CBS two weeks before and I was honestly feeling really good. It was also my birthday month. I tweeted "I have a good feeling about August. I visualize new doors opening. Life advancements + beautiful beginnings with an overflow of happiness." I just knew that God was going to come through for me. He did that and more.
On August 9th, I was called to the station and had my offer waiting for me on the table. However, It wasn't just for CBS, but NBC too. I would be working for both sides! It was a true blessing. All I could do as I left, was thank the Lord continuously for bringing me out of my storm. It's been a month in my new career and I'm not going to lie and say it's easy because it's definitely not. I'm still hard on myself and trying to control my perfectionist side. However, my drive hasn't let up. I've done some impressive things for myself in just a short month and it's all because I know what I want. All I asked was for God to open the door and place me, it's up to me to do the rest now.
For the young women reading who are struggling to find themselves, depressed, angry, questionable, confused, immensely lost, doubtful and trying their best. Stay patient. There isn't a specific route you have to take to get to where you want to go. You are capable of achieving your greatest desires. Don't settle because nothings knocking at your door right now. Find ways to get around it. Create your own opportunities and branch out into your own lane.
Throughout those two years. I didn't see any of this coming. I dealt with a lot of drama, unhappiness with my situation, falling out with people I thought were friends and just evil and bitter intentions. I was happy with myself, my family and my relationship... but everything else surrounding it made me unhappy. I was partially happy if that makes any sense. I can finally say that I'm happy with my whole life and it took me so long to get here. Everything I've gone through all makes sense now and I'm not ashamed to say that I've struggled. I think a lot of people have this misconception of me and believe I think I'm perfect and that's not the case at all. I fought to be here. I'm technically NOT supposed to be here, but I'm a fighter. I fought for my life at 2lbs 11 oz on August 12th, 1991 and I will continue fighting because I was determined to be in this world. I don't think I'm perfect, but I do know God kept me around for a purpose.
Please, always remember that nothing can stop Gods plan for your life.