This title is scandalous – I get it. But it’s really just about 2016’s passing, so please take a breath and quit typing the lecture. 🙂
So, we’ve come to the end of 2016- many will find this a relief, some will see it as an opportunity for improvement, and some are still lamenting the deaths of beloved celebrities. For me, 2016 was a whirlwind of things that cannot be chalked up to coincidence.
I began 2016 by accepting a position that was comfortable- a place I had worked at forever with people I had known for the past 3 years. You see, I graduated college with the, what I like to call, “Rainbow of Jobs” mindset. This mindset comes about right before you graduate college and for about a month afterwards; you believe that even though what you majored in has little to no market where you live, someone will magically know who you are and offer you the job of a lifetime. In most cases, this just doesn’t happen. Sorry to burst your bubble.
You see, in Amarillo, there aren’t many opportunities to be a creative ad professional. Not truly creative, anyway. Many of my friends have began to realize this and either A) moved to a more creative-driven area, B) switched career paths or C) began their own creative projects. These things rock my socks off because my friends are happy- and they are fulfilling their heart’s desires, which is what we all wish in a new year.
So, I took the comfortable job, which looked a little like this:
As much as it looks like I just got to stand and be pretty, I didn’t. There was a lot more to that job than just looking pretty and selling pretty clothes. As happy as I looked in these pictures, I was the furthest from happy. There were about 5 times out of the week where I cried in the bathroom. I went home and didn’t have the energy to do anything because I was lost. I was so lost and I had no compass to direct me where I needed to go. I felt like there was more to life- and there was. As hard as this job ended up for me, I won’t ever regret the people who came to me (and still do) for advice on fashion, love, and life. The people I couldn’t lose if I tried. Thank you to everyone who stuck by me in this part of my life, I couldn’t have lived without you.
During this time, I met someone on Tinder who would change my 2016- Nathan Hopson. Now, I’m not gonna be crazy sappy, but a little. At the beginning of April, we went on our first date. We went to Jason’s Deli, I was late. (if you know me, you’re rolling your eyes an saying “of course.”) A week later, we went to the 806 and listened to jazz, drank coffee, looked at modern arts magazines, and I fell in love. In the next 4 months, we would go on to do normal date things. Hardship hit the 5th month and Nathan picked me up and moved me in with him. Throughout weddings, engagements, parties, working together, and living together, we began something that I have never had before- the deepest relationship I’ve had with any other human. When I’m broken, he bends to pick me up and help me. He’s held me in the kitchen when my depression swallowed me whole and I contemplated suicide, he’s held my hand in the hospital, made sure that I got up in time for work.. He’s it.
Fast forward to August- I started my first “adult” job. If we’re being ruthlessly honest, I was terrible at that job. I love to talk to people, I love to hear their stories and love on them, but I hate going in to sell things to someone. That’s just the honest truth. So, I stayed there for 4 months and went to the hospital 4 times in those months because my panic disorder could not understand that job performance does not define who you are, sending me into a spiraling depression, complete with anxiety and acne. But what I learned there is everlasting- my brother, who most of you know is my best friend in the world, made sure that I understood that my happiness was more important than being well-off. He relentlessly loved me and pushed me to create my happiness. For that, I praise God that he sent my brother to me.
The best part of 2016 was my friends marrying their soulmates. My perfect friends, Haley and Bre, married Matt and Daniel and asked me to be a part of their magical days. I love love. I love weddings, wedding dresses, engagement videos, engagement photos.. I love it all, but getting to see those things bless my perfect, worthy, inspirational, loving friends was more than I could ask for. I love you all, thank you so much for loving me enough to ask me to be there for you on your day. And for taking shots with me (@Hales)
So, 2016 was another notch in life’s bedpost. Just another year. For me it was the year that I learned the reality of the world, the fragility of life and friendships. I realized that failure is a blessing if you so choose it, love is a battle if you choose to fight in the war, and that happiness should be your driving force. I also have regained the confidence to go for what I want, which is a breath of fresh life. So here we go, y’all. Time to rock and roll.