Once upon a time, there lived a wild, creative 20-something in the middle of the country. She absolutely yearned for meaning, depth and purpose in her life but was looking in all the wrong places. With a messy, chaotic lifestyle and nothing holding her back but herself, she was free to live where she wanted, do as she pleased. This wild one had recently acquired a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in Business/Technology from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, but did not have a clue of what she wanted to do with her life now that she was a full-fledged adult.
So, she moved. And she took risks. Anything was possible and there was a little bit of magic in her soul that she had yet to unleash on the world. After an intense bout of restlessness, she picked up her little Tulsa, Oklahoma life and moved herself to the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metro. What was this small town girl from an area where there were literally more cattle than people doing in the 9th largest city in the United States? How would she earn her keep to put a roof over her head? There were endless question marks and dilemmas in her mind and of those who cared most for her, but she was living day-to-day, minute-by-minute and knew that her path was not a simple, streamlined one gilded with ALL the right answers.
Despite the struggle and stress of it all, she knew she had to learn the hard way. So, she pushed and she failed forward. And she failed forward again. In fact, she’s still failing forward to this day. But, somewhere along the way she discovered a real talent/passion/knack for all things digital marketing and branding; that’s where the true magic in her was set free. Project by project, client by client…
There are a plethora of plot twists, turns and even a few moments of being flipped upside down to my story of how I discovered my love for marketing. But, the moral of it all is that I threw caution to the wind and allowed the opportunity to present itself. Unhappiness can drive you to happiness, if you let it. Living deep in my own emotions and shielded by my limited perspective, I endured through those years of not knowing where I would end up or what career I would call mine. That lifestyle is not for the faint of heart. With the resourcefulness of any quality librarian and a support system that allows you the freedom to fall flat on your face, you can blown your own mind with the leaps and bounds made over a decade though.
When I moved to the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metro and had no job, no prospects and not much real world experience,I was banking on one thing happening: unraveling another layer of resiliency and determination. Building off the last gut-wrenching life experience (whatever it may have been) and believing that because I had overcome that particular challenge then I was 100% capable of stretching myself over the next hurdle. Enlisting the use of a staffing agency, I was able to find gainful employment rather quickly at a large real estate company as the Receptionist. When one of my friends from high school, who had not at the time attended college, said to me, “Receptionist? Really? I don’t have a college degree and could get a job like that tomorrow.” Oh, my friend…. you had no idea at the time how that conversation would drive me, but it surely did give me a giant push to where I am today.
Sure, I started as the Receptionist. But after two months of that holding that job down like a pro, I was promoted to Graphic Design/Marketing with no formal training on either front. BOOM! Mic Drop. Clap back. However you want to frame it, my pure grit and hustle is what really matters at the end of the day. My intense, insatiable craving for constant challenge and personal growth is what drives me. When it comes to design and marketing, a little resourcefulness, resiliency, grit and determination can go a heck of a long way.
While in this role as the Graphic Designer/Online Marketer for the real estate company I was solely responsible for the print and digital marketing of 250+ residential real estate listings. The team’s photographer would go shoot a listing, hand me the photos and I spun them into eloquent home descriptions that were put on flyers, in magazines and all over the web. The rush I got out of the variety in that job and the constant stream of new listings to advertise was my “A-HA!” moment. However, the epiphany took a little longer to sink in than that… actually, it was a few years.
Some (including myself) may see my twisty, turn-y style of claiming marketing as my “thing” a bit non-traditional, reckless and naive. Others may not care enough to really have an opinion. To each is own, darlings. All I’m trying to put down on this blog today is that I’m sincerely grateful for the opportunities given. My manager at the real estate job, Debbie B., will always hold a very special place in my heart. She saw something in myself that I had never recognized in the past and she trusted me enough to take a big risk on the new girl in town.
Moral of this long-winded, complicated story? If you don’t know where in heck you’re headed in life, let your heart carry you forward.