Inside Story: The Final Installment
Behold, the last piece to the Atlanta to San Antonio puzzle.
I left off with needing a new job to pay for school. Key word there being "job". I'd set out yet again to pursue something I actually liked. I applied for marketing positions and social media positions, but with little to no success. I got a few interviews, but my new impeding schedule that included school just wasn't going to work for any of the company's needs. So again, I applied to ONE law firm position...and naturally, I got it. The lawyer was a little...off her rocker...and she didn't seem happy at all being a lawyer. She was much happier trailing off and thinking up great, creative plans for a coffee food truck, cute coffee house or some other project that involved hands-on work creating things with color, essentially. Her black and white lawyer life was not her passion. Shortly after I actually started going back to school, she advised me that she couldn't pay me anymore-which was fully logical because I'm certain she paid out more money for my paycheck than she had coming in...5-fold. And that...was the LAST paralegal job I took. This time it was for real...I would never go back to a law firm job.
I ended up taking a break from school for one semester because well...I couldn’t pay for it. I took on an array of random positions from that point on, including being a swim instructor, a brand ambassador and later a web coordinator for a non-profit. The latter was a real win, although it was a major pain in the ass on many a day. While being sick daily as a swim coach to toddlers, I met a young lady who had moved here from Florida...INSTANT CONNECTION, first of all. Secondly, she informed me about all of the grants available to residents here that she qualified for once she became a resident. My first thought was, well isn’t this some shit? I learn this juicy piece of information from someone that isn’t even from here...and just so happens to also be from the southeast.
So I applied for ALL the grants. And wouldn’t you know it...I was granted quite a few. So back to school I went, with what seemed like forever ahead of me before graduation.
Next came ridiculous schedules that included a full-time schedule at school, an internship and 2 jobs to boot...Just...stress and not enough sleep. But during the course of this madness, I got my own place again. Not the fanciest of places, but it was mine and I could walk around with no pants on, get up as early as I wanted, get home as late as I wanted and had my very own space with which to spread papers all about for upcoming tests, quizzes, etc. Victory was mine on the home front. Then came November and December. Which are supposed to be happy, cheerful times of year...yippie do dah.
Not so much. Schooling was at an all-time high, and working was getting more and more sparse. Hours got cut from the non-profit, I was working as an unpaid intern for a great company, but...unpaid...and I’d added a part-time seasonal job at the local jazzy liquor store. So lots of work hours, lots of school….then a break from school and lots of work...but for peanuts. Bills were late, I had to borrow money from family. It was a new low. In the place where I was trying to start over, it seemed like I was falling behind yet again. Breakdowns reared their ugly heads again, I was cranky, I was tired...I was frustrated. As hell.
That December, I didn’t post any “2015 will be my year” memes or photos on social media...I just stayed quiet. I wanted to figure it all out, but how and why and dammit I can’t even buy a whole bag of groceries. But I kept my head up. I was so great and professional and cheerful (go figure) at the liquor store that they asked me to stay on for the next few weeks. Thank goodness. My internship ended in December, and my hours increased at the non-profit ever so slightly. EVER. SO. SLIGHTLY. So things were still rough, but things were a little more hopeful.
Then Spring semester started at UTSA. It finally came. My LAST semester of school. I thought it would never arrive. And I mean that sincerely. My schedule went back to being busy and I just tried to keep in mind that I would be graduating in just a few months. Just a few...long...months.
Around February/March, I got a call from where I interned. The group I interned with took on a crazy project load and my supervisor had found a way to get approval to hire a student associate immediately. I came to mind instantly. I was psyched because I really liked the company and the work-even when I was working for free. So now they’re offering me a PAID part-time position and I get to be back with the company and group so...YES. Yes, please, SIGN ME UP.
That helped me keep hope for the time left before graduation. Finances got a little easier to manage-mostly because I actually started managing them...rather strictly.
Then...one of the people I worked with during my internship...a Web Content Producer...put in their notice about 3 weeks before I was scheduled to graduate. And who else to apply for the position...than the person that interned and then worked part-time..and later full-time...in essentially the same capacity. ME!!!!! So of course, I applied.
On May 9, 2015, I graduated from UTSA with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication (to include a minor in Spanish). Best. Day. Ever.
On May 18, 2015, I accepted a position with an amazing company as a Web Content Producer. This is not a job. I’m done with those. I’ve officially started my career. I’m a writer. I’m an Business Technology Solutions professional. I’m a creative. All of the things I love to do...and they now describe my career.
So, to conclude this 3-part story, I leave you with this: it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to reach your goals and live your dreams. What matters is that you stay on course, no matter how terrible things may seem...because those lows will come, and they will beat you down...but they will also go. They will go far, far away if you just stay strong and keep moving forward.
That being said, this post is dedicated to all the dreamers, creators and stragglers out there clawing their way to the top and chasing after their dreams. You’ve got this. Just keep going.
Until next time, amazing people…
Peace, love and endurance to all.