Here’s To You, Dad

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Give my sister 5 minutes and she will tell you just how spoiled I am. How when she asked for a belly-botton ring and was denied it was my sly talk, and dads lack of ability to say no to her younger sister, which had her dawning that tacky dangling jewel. Yes, it is true, my father does indeed love me with all his heart, and hate saying no even more.

Lets be real though, he loves her just as much, and gives her just as many things. Unfortunately for her cell phones were unheard of when she was in 5th grade, and her lack of begging ability really did disable.

The thing we can’t deny however, is just how much our father cares.

Growing up in a middle class family I never really understood just how many things we were given. The moment my computer broke dad was buying another. When I crashed into a tree, he made sure I had a car. When we HAD to do cheerleading, had to have letterman’s jackets that we never wore, had to buy ugly decals that my father would scrape off our cars just a year later, him and my mom opened their pocket books without hesitation. It was never a question of going to a private or public university, we had the choice.

We always had the choice, because we always had a dad who would pick up extra shifts and a mom who would do everything it took to give us what we needed. No, not what we wanted. We drove cars named little blue and did not get senior photos done. Something at the time I could not fathom. But we always had what we needed.

Over the years I have seen the way my father has struggled to give us exactly what we need to Be the person we believe inside. I watch his aching bones go in for shift after shift, and his tired eyes as he pushes on. I call him time and time again to bail me out when my car wont start, and he comforts me when my heart is broken. And it is because of these things that I try so hard.

Parents teach their children a lot of things in life. What manners are, how to escape a bully, when to say no, and how to live a productive life. My parents went the extra mile, they taught me what unconditional love is. They do the parent thing like it was written by them. They put us above everything in the entire world, even themselves and each other. There has never been a doubt in my mind that my parents love us with everything they have, even in the times when they might not have loves each other.

I look at my dad and see a fighter. Someone who shows hope to his family. Who taught us that a little bit of crazy is okay, as long as you know how to handle it. I see someone who never lets us down. Without him I would have never taken this chance on myself. I would never have something to strive for. Never learned what determination is. He has given so much, my only goal is to show him and my mom that it was worth it.

So thank you dad, I hope to make you proud.

The Battle of a Break

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Yesterday I took a spontaneous trip to the lake for Memorial Day weekend. By weekend I mean over night, and by spontaneous I mean that I called my mom and asked her if it was a good idea.

Ever since starting my business, leaving town for even the most minute amount of time to engage in a leisurely activity sounds outrageous. The mere thought of tucking away my work Monday through Friday would result in a definite end to this career. Like taking one moment to focus on something other than the task at hand would surely cause the Janga logs to crumble.

Sitting on the deck with my phone tucked away and wifi turned off relief rolled over me. Not because I didn’t fear missing something important, or that those few last assignments from the weekend were done. This feeling overtook because, for the first time in a long time it felt okay.

It felt okay to take a break from the work I love so much, and remember the other things I love too. And not only was it okay, but it felt so good. To talk with old friends, and laugh about things we did years ago. To remember what the water smelled like, and how the wind felt on my face. People always say “It’s the little things,” and for my that has never really been true. For me it is the big things. The “What can I do next?” things.

I would never say that my job does anything but bring my up, and bring my soul to life. But, we are a society of all or nothing, and at some point we have to find the balance between the two. We can’t run ourselves in the ground trying to be something, and we can’t let ourselves go because we fear becoming something either.

Life is a place of hope and fear. We make a choice everyday to show up or sit down. We just have to learn that some times sitting down is okay.

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