21 And All Figured Out

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The future beamed as my wobbly, stiletto dawning feet stomped across that graduation stage. A clear vision of me shaking Giuliana Rancic’s hand as she bid ENews a-due and I began my role as lead reporter to the stars unveiled. I knew exactly where my life was headed, and where I would end up, all at the mere age in which a I could legally toss a shot down my throat. I was 21 and all figured out.

Until I was no longer.  See, the thing with becoming the next face of broadcast journalism is that you have to get a job in broadcast journalism. With over 60 resumes and reels sent out, I perched up at my internship turned part time job with FOX34 in Lubbock, Texas waiting for good news. But email after email was left unanswered.

It made no sense. How could someone who tried so hard, took on so many internships, and put work before everything else in college not get a job? The thoughts turned into panic, and the panic into mental breakdowns consisting of nights crying on my un-vaccumed floor. My level of career focus was so high there was not even time to clean. And with such neglect to normal college activity, I could not even take to alcohol to soothe my fears as half a glass of anything left me out of commission for a minimum of three days. College had failed me in the two most important categories, careers and beers.

This is the thing about life, we are given these huge daunting signs, and chose to ignore them. We force ourselves down this path that we just KNOW is right. And, for the most part it is. For the most part your instincts, and either continually passing or failing classes in a major, direct you exactly where you’re meant to be. Though, I fell victim to the blame game. I told myself that the reason I wasn’t getting this dream job was due to lack of hard work, or lack of dedication. Even lack of enough clothes. It didn’t matter that my walk-in closet was packed, I blamed my failures on everything I could think of.

It wasn’t until I finally asked myself “why” that things fell into place. Because my why wasn’t actually to be a journalist. My why was to help people. I want to share stories, and bring light to others. I want to show graduates that they can chase a dream, and that hard work does pay off.  I have always told myself that I was meant to be something. It hadn’t occurred to me that being something came in more forms than being seen on TV.

At the mere age of 21 I packed my things and returned to my childhood desk to chase a dream unclear. In the year to follow I googled the definition of marketing, started my own company, learned lessons, moved out of my parents house, and began helping businesses grow. I don’t have a clue where this will all take me. I’m not sure I will still have a job tomorrow. I wish to write books and start talking to others about dreams. I strive every day to do bigger things and do better things. This is my start to being something, failures and all.

Always, Shelby

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