Just to hit the milestones, I graduated college and got an internship at WeddingWire, watched one of my closest friends graduate from the Naval Academy, and stood as a bridesmaid for my best friend as she finally married her man. Also, Chris and Whitney got engaged and broke up, and Bruce Jenner is now a woman, so things escalated pretty quickly in the past few months.
It’s hard to believe I’ve graduated college. It’s hard to believe that Andrew graduated USNA and Aubrey Krueger is now Aubrey Bair. I’m not sure where the time went or how it passed so quickly, but the crazy thing is that it’s gone.
In honor of growing up and time going by and yada yada yada, I have a very personal post for you today. I’ve shared my thoughts, my dreams, and my fears with my boyfriend and with my friends from bible study, and that’s about it. But the point of starting this blog two years ago was to relate to other people who were taking this journey of life day by day, just like me, and sometimes doing it blind. Well, friends, right now, I’m doing it blind, and I’m here to share how I’m feeling about that.
SPOILER ALERT: It doesn’t feel good and I don’t enjoy it at all.
As a chronic worrier, I’ve been planning for this day for the past 3 years. In December, I had already sent out at least 2 dozen job applications. As if Elle Magazine was going to call me up and be like, “Hello, 21 year-old girl! You can’t work for us until you graduate college in 5 months but you seem perfect for this position so we’ll hold it until you can start real life and move to New York City!” I mean, I wish, but seriously.
I was panicked for months, and I was much more panicked than my fellow grads. Why? Because for me, anything less than success is not an option. Yes, I’ve had an amazing two years of living on my own and going back to my parents’ would absolutely drive me crazy. But that isn’t the main reason why I was (and still am) freaking out over finding a job.
I’ve known what I want to do with the rest of my life since I was maybe 10 or 11. I was in the process of writing a novel when I was 9 (not sure whatever happened to that manuscript) and I was glued to the TV for the Oscars when I was in middle school. I was never a girl who dreamed of having a husband and kids. I was a girl who dreamed about having a wildly successful career.
Baltimore is my home: it’s where I grew up, it’s the city that houses my favorite sports teams, and we have crabs and Old Bay out the wazoo. But I’ve been waiting to get out of this city for years. I’ve known that I want to move to New York or LA for almost half my life. I’ve been dreaming about the Empire State Building and that Hollywood sign, and I’ve been putting in the work that I hope will get me there.
My passion (and really, my only talent) is writing. My dream is to write for a women’s magazine in New York or for E! News in LA. Or for Ellen DeGeneres or Jimmy Fallon, but I certainly don’t have those skills. I’ve been planning my career since the seventh grade, and here I am at the beginning of it. So what’s the problem with that?, you ask. “The world is your oyster,” “now is the time to chase your dreams,” “what’s stopping you:” all things I’ve heard in the past few months/weeks.
Here’s the thing: what if I never get there? What if I have been dreaming and hoping and wanting this career and life path and it doesn’t happen?
It’s how I imagine Nathan Scott must have felt in One Tree Hill….JUST KIDDING. I’m not going to insert an analogy from a television show here, even though I could, because that would be pretty lame. It’s how I imagine college athletes feel when they’re trying to get onto an NFL or NBA team. Football or basketball has been their focus and their dream their whole life, and they have no clue what they’re going to do if they don’t make that team.
Getting to the top of the writing/fashion/entertainment world has been my focus and my dream my whole life, and I have no clue what I’m going to do if I don’t make that team. I’ve given 4 years of my life to getting a Journalism degree, I worked at Baltimore Style for free for two years to get experience. I would love to say I could be content writing for a county newspaper or small publication, but the truth is, I don’t think I could. And that terrifies me.
I’m not saying I have to get there tomorrow, although I would love to. I’m not even saying I have to get there in 3 years, although to be honest, I’ll probably cry myself to sleep every night if I’m not there in the next 3 years. I just want to get there someday.
While yes, I’m terrified, I’m also hopeful that I will get there. I think that I have the drive and deep desire for this path because it’s the path God wants for me. I’m hoping that’s true, but you never know where God could place me in the next 1, 3, 5 years.
When I was interviewing for the WeddingWire internship, I was also interviewing for a job elsewhere that would have been full-time, steady, and not at all what I wanted to do. It seemed like I was probably going to get offered both positions, which would have been my worst nightmare. Could I turn down a reputable full-time job that I didn’t love for an internship (that might not turn into a full-time job) that I would love doing? I lost sleep over what I would do if both opportunities became available.
I asked that God would make it perfectly clear where He wanted me, and He did. I got the rejection call from the full-time job the day before I got the “you’re hired “call from WeddingWire. I know this company and this internship is exactly where I’m supposed to be, at least for the next 3 months. I’m so glad to be here even though I never would have imagined this would be my life plan post-grad.
That experience alone has shown me how unpredictable life is, which gives me both excitement and fear of the future. Ideally, life will be unpredictable in the way that I’ll get a call from Glamour in August and they ask me to come write for them for $50,000 a year. Because that’ll happen.
Realistically, I’m hoping that life will be unpredictable in the way that I can work as hard as I can in this internship and whatever opportunities come after it and someone at Conde Nast or E! will finally take a look at my resume and think “we want her.”
However, there’s always that third option that life will be unpredictable in the way that I don’t become a magazine editor, that I don’t ever interview George Clooney, or that I don’t ever even leave Maryland. If that’s the plan God has for my life, I know it will be right, but I don’t know that it will be easy. Hence my fear.
I have a huge support group of people that love me, read my blog, and tell me I’m good at what I do. For that, I’m so thankful. If you’ve ever said anything nice about my blog or my writing, you’ve encouraged me more than you know. I just hope that this post represents, and maybe speaks to, all the college grads or soon-to-be college grads that don’t know where life is going.
Whether I make it to the big-time or not, I know that it will be quite the ride. And I promise to write about it more than I have been for the past 5 months! Until next time, friends.