Today, I am closing a chapter and starting a brand new one. This past chapter has challenged me in ways I didn't expect and I ended up growing in ways that I didn't know I needed. Now, the first chapter after graduating college in my mind is complete. I had to grapple with and deal with post-grad depression, the ending of relationships, the loss of work, and a battle to stay true to myself. Even though I had to deal with a lot, I gained a lot. I became more confident in myself and my work. I listened to the creativity that beats so loudly within me and found ways to follow my passion.
This past chapter has felt endless and I felt stuck for so much of it. I had to find ways to keep moving forward to get myself "unstuck." I took the time to create a YouTube channel even if it may have been chaotic. I created my website, my blog, and newsletter. My first blog post was "Stuck, but Moving Forward" and it highlighted so many of the battles I faced in this last chapter. I grew alongside my writing and my creating. Most notably, I grew alongside "Receive the Moment." The canvas taught me about myself and provided for a lot of reflection. All of these creative endeavors were born out of the adversity from this past year. This work was a way for me to stay creative and keep sharpening my skills but, it was also my saving grace. It kept me grounded, kept me moving, and it allowed me to stay true to myself.
This last chapter also highlighted so many things to me. I saw friendships flourish even in the midst of adversity. I was able to rekindle past friendships, grow new ones, and strengthen old ones. I kept building and finding my community and I am beyond grateful for my community. This chapter was a doozy, to say the least, but, it happened and I don't regret any of it. Like my mentor, Urzila Carlson, said "I don’t believe in regrets. There’s no greater waste of time than regret." I wouldn't be where I am now without everything that had happened, the good and the bad. I may not love what had happened and do wish some of it didn't happen but, it helped me grow into the person that I am proud to be.
Now, I find myself standing on a precipice of a new beginning. I don't know what the next chapter will entail. I know there will be some highs and there will be some lows. It might not be easy but, I know that I can keep going and finding ways to stay true to myself. I am more me today than I have ever been and everything I learned from this last chapter will help guide me through my next one. I have the power to constantly write and rewrite my life narrative and I am excited to see the story I create. I am also excited to live out the story in real-time and experience the moment, at hand, for all its worth.
In this next chapter, I will continue to find ways to build community, change, and a better world. I will continue to find ways to stay true to myself and practice self-love. I will cross paths with new people, friends, and find new stories to be told. I will continue to build off of my past projects and grow my creative ventures. I am happy I have this newfound outlet that I didn't have before and I can't wait to keep going. Thank you for being a part of my journey during this last chapter and I hope you decide to stick around for the next one because I am sure it will be just as crazy (in a good way).
*Graduation from tOSU on December 15, 2019. Today, I am "graduating" into my next chapter.