Let's talk real life! When I first started college I had this PLAN! This idea of what I was going to do when I graduated, where I was going to be working, living and where I would be in life to set myself up!
Life works in mysterious ways! And I feel like my college experience was a little different from what you think of when you think of American colleges!
Where I thought I'd be!
In this picture I was a sophomore in college, studying film and enjoying life to the fullest! I would go to my friends ranch on the weekend and help her feed her cattle, I was working with my best friend at a clothing store and getting really great grades. I was LOVING what I was studying and how I was spending every free moment in the mountains!
I had this plan.
Take a summer internship in NYC (check..did that!), work through my junior and senior years of college (did that as a videographer for our athletic department...check!), graduate and head to NYC or Chicago to work in the print magazine industry and work my way up!
WELL. I did some of those things, but my post grad has been 100x better than what I planned! I always saw myself in a small brick studio, working long days doing photography and film. Fulfilling my life in ways that were blank in my mind. Pieces that I hadn't yet filled in yet!
This is how it actually happened!
I fell in love with the kid at the coffee shop!
I unexpectedly fell in love with the adorable man in small town Montana working in his families coffee shop. And yes, we were introduced by our parents! (Such a cute story to tell!). He opened my eyes WAY past the plans that I had for myself! I saw the world in a new light! My goals in life shifted! I knew I wanted to be close to my friends and family and that I didn't need to move to a big city to make my dreams come true!
Drew and I graduated college! Drew went off the Air Force Bootcamp. I did what I needed to do to start my career, and applied to over 50 jobs, in a month prior to college graduation. I landed a job working on the site development team, specializing in food, at Williams Sonoma Inc. in San Francisco. Like I said above, life takes you on a crazy ride! Que #4 on my list. I moved home. MY parents were THRILLED! They had 100% access to kissing our puppy every day, and they were so incredibly supportive to help me navigate my first job!
It was a weird transition! I went from having the most amazing job in college, with amazingly cool opportunites to travel and work with a really supportive team to a corporate work structure. I was waking up at 4:30am everyday, working out before work, commuting 1.5 hours to the office (12 miles away from my house - YAY Bay Area), working a very stressful 10-12 hour day, commuting home and doing it again!
I wouldn't change a thing from that year. Looking back on it, the tough work environment & the pain I dealt with, shaped who I am today. At just 22 years old, I was THROWN in to the work force working on a team with both women and men who had been doing this job for 12+ years. To say I was thrown to the wolves is an understatement! The Silicon Valley wolves! That life wasn't fulfilling to me. I felt confused and honestly disappointed most of the time! BUT I learned SO much. Literally I can't even explain how much I learned!
Everyday at work, my mind would drift off to the "easier" days of college. But, I got through it and learned SO much about myself, my drive and what I was capable of from my time at WSI. Drew was transfered to the UT, Air Force office and I picked up, and moved a month before our wedding to be with him (it's easier for my to relocate my work than the US Government..ya know!). A week before our wedding, we found out that Drew was cleared for his secondary training in Florida. He left for 5 months, just 2 weeks after we were married. That was incredibly hard. You military wives & families out there know how hard this is. I was doing my best to cheer him on and support his everyday because this was his dream! It was hard though, I was living by myself with Moose in a city where I knew no one, working freelance and starting my freelance career. I took the leap and it worked!
We packed up when we could move to be with Drew and headed to FLORIDA. I never thought I would say the words "I live in Florida.". Growing up in the Bay Area, Florida is just so far away that I never thought that is where my life would take me!
SO here we are! I am a week away from my 24th birthday, close to moving back across the country again, my parents sold my childhood home and moved to Montana full time. Drew and I have been talking about where we see ourself in the years to come, and to be completely honest, I just see a big blank grey space. Where will I be? I don't know! But I have loved the challenges that have come with where I am now, and know that great things are in my future!
It's hard, but its been an amazing journey to see where my life goes with the skills that I have. Letting go can be really hard, and it is something that I work on daily, but it's also the most amazing thing in the world!