HOW TO SUCCEED, WELL I THINK

I’ve quit a lot of jobs in my life, like every single one I’ve ever had with the exception of FEMA, they just laid me off when our contract was up, but today was by far the most rewarding. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my co-workers, and I loved my job because at the time it served a serious purpose, but it is now time for me to move on. It is time for me to become the person I’ve been dreaming of, and slightly delaying, for the past few years.

Never in my life have I felt more sure in what I’m doing. The road to this point was definitely a bumpy one filled with anticipation, balancing some money, planning out my steps, fights with people I love dearly, and many tears, but I have to say all of it was not only necessary, but is now much appreciated.  In those resisting moments, those moments when I wondered what the fuck I was really doing, I persevered and came out the other side a better person for it.  My relationships with others have, too.

I’m going to get really personal here, but I feel I have something to seriously blog about, something that will help other people, and something that will be extremely valuable to the future me.  Let me just say right now, I’m a lot more interested in future Sarah, more so than ever been before.  On to the story of how I got to this point, at this moment.

Back in the beginning of February I was in a very bad place.  I was a little lost, a little confused, and very depressed. I suffer from a hormonal imbalance and subsequently, depression.  For some reason, things got bad.  Mikey (my boyfriend) and I got into a horrible fight, I flipped my shit, and the following months were filled with unbearable times.  I mean things were really bad. I was on what felt like the verge of losing the most important boyfriend I’ve ever had. I was freaked out that my mom was going to be moving and going through her own stress with the move. I was unhappy at work (like I said, LOVED my co-workers, things just felt off for me). My mind was a raging mess filled with irrational thoughts, bouts of explosive tears, and at times it was hard to even pull myself out of my bed. Things were bad, I mean second to only one other time in my life, and that was the worst.

The months leading up to the explosive fight with Mikey we weren’t ourselves, and weren’t communicating like we used. The fight, which at the time seemed like the end of the world, was the catalyst that got me to this point, at this moment. I realized in the weeks that followed how much I truly loved this person, and in that came a lot of change, for us both.  I won’t go into too much detail with all of this because it’s not as important to the story, but it does have merit to the story.  I guess, long story short, in a heartbreaking conversation with my best friend (and boyfriend) of two years, he told me he was afraid that I wouldn’t follow through with anything, that I was depressed and it was hurting me and our relationship.  I don’t know why, but from that moment I decided back to the medicine we went.  You see, I’m kind of opposed to a lot of pharmaceutical medicines, but I have depression, so I knew this was the only way to even my levels out and return to Earth.

The best way I can describe depression is as follows. There’s me, Sarah. Hi! I’m a happy, clear, focused, funny, talented girl. I always have friends, I love being around people, I care about others, I love getting to know others, I love life.  See, sometimes that girl is trapped within a glass soundproof box, and this mean, depressed, irrational, unpleasant person who looks just like me has put me there. She put me there so she could wreak havoc on all aspects of my life, leaving nothing but strained relationships and anxiety in her wake.  I can’t control her, and I can’t escape her. I actually hate her, but when you’re trapped inside a glass soundproof box, you’re helpless. For me, my new meds are like taking that mean, depressed, irrational, unpleasant version of me, locking her in that box she had me confined to, and pushing it off a fucking cliff.

Now that I am on Celexa, I feel more like me than I have in years.  I felt like the old me, the me that used to exist until hormones started working on building that mean, depressed, irrational, unpleasant version of me.  It was, and still is, the best feeling.  I’m not a zombie, I don’t have any side effects, I’m eating better, I’m clearer and more focused, I am happy.  Whoa, that’s a different one for me, happy.  In this happiness I’ve fallen in love with my boyfriend again (he says the same of me), I’ve taken a huge step towards my future, and bonus, I get to help my mom with her new home and new life adventure. I’m not afraid of my future anymore. I’m not afraid to just up and quit my job and move.  I’m not afraid to have a temporary long distance relationship with Mikey. I’m not afraid of failure because I took a huge step towards success and in that I have comfort.

I look at it this way, if I had stayed in Mississippi, silently hating myself and the life I was living rather than chasing after the life I dream of, then I would continue to be more miserable than if I tried and failed.  The worst thing that will happen to me is I might have to get a part time job.  I’m not even worried about this because I have some freelance work lined up, I know how to use the internet to find smaller jobs to fill the gaps, I’m armed with a great portfolio site, a good body of solid work, and I have the cojones and the desire to go after what it is I want. If I didn’t do this, I might not fail, but I certainly wouldn’t be succeeding either.

So, that’s basically how I got here personally, let me go a little more into how I got here professionally. After a whirlwind college career filled with uncertainty, time off, starting a business, and tragedy, I graduated back in August 2011. I was fortunate enough to have an awesome friend who told me about the job at University Communications.  I applied, interviewed, and got the job. I worked with some incredible people, and am so thankful for not only the job and the experience I gained, but the relationships and friends I gained.  Something inside just didn’t feel right though, like I knew I wanted more, but I wasn’t sure what.  I also knew I wanted to leave Mississippi.

Mississippi is an interesting, vital, beautiful placed filled with amazing Southern culture.  It’s where I grew up, it’s part of who I am, and I will always have a spot in my heart for this state, but this is not my ending, this is merely my beginning.  The desire to get out in the world, see things, meet people, and escape everything familiar and safe was deep inside me, boiling up, but I didn’t realize how strongly the pressure would eventually get.  At first, coupled with all the other stresses I was experiencing personally, I was scared, confused, and letting it all get the best of me. Then I updated my portfolio, applied to jobs in Tennessee, even got an interview, and I feel like that was when I let the pressure start to slowly escape. When I didn’t get the job I interviewed for, I let it get to me, but slowly I realized it just wasn’t the right job and the right job would find me, or maybe I’d just create it.

For now, I’m creating the job.  I’ve been in contact with a few firms in Tennessee, and gotten such a good response I stopped sending out emails until I'm settled there.  I’m making plans to visit other firms, to make business cards, to contact printers, and just put myself out there in a nice friendly “Hello world, I exist and I want to make you amazing eye-catching work!” type of manner.

Just to clarify, I’m in no way “tooting my own horn” or anything. I’m simply here to write about my experience as a human and the steps I’m taking, and hopefully through that I can inspire others in my field and in whatever endeavors they do.  I’ve realized all it takes to make your dreams come true is really going after them. It’s like Thomas Jefferson said, “Many of life’s failures are men who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”  Just don’t give up! It might take you longer than you had hoped, but I promise you it will pay off.

Let me leave you with some final thoughts.  I might fail, and that’s OK. I might become a raving success, and that too is OK, but just knowing that I tried, that’s where the real satisfaction comes in. Loving yourself and being proud of yourself is NOT EASY, but it is possible, and I promise you it feels better than any other feeling.  So, go out there, make a step towards the rest of your life.  Trust me, it hasn’t been easy, it’s been almost unbearable sometimes, but you will come out the other side if you keep pressing forward.  Take baby steps, start your business and fail. Quit your job and fail. Fail. Failure just means you’re one step closer to success.

Also, I’ve dismantled Replay Consignments and I’m restructuring the store.  See, I failed, but in my failure I narrowed down what I really wanted, what was working, and set in motion a plan to try again with a new angle. The new store is called Eleven26, and it’s going to be new, used, vintage, retro, and antique accessories, jewelry, and decor.  All stuff I like and I know others will like. I’m happier with it and the direction it’s going more than I ever was with Replay.  Thing is, I will always love Replay. I started it from my college room at my crazy old house on 7th Street, and it gave me a reason to learn some web design and coding, it helped me develop styles over the years, it got me into product photography, styling, and owing a business.

Failure isn’t bad, it’s just the antithesis of success, but without one you couldn’t have the other.

Stay tuned for more adventures in life and freelancing.