My little cousin Hanna graduated this week and I couldn't stop thinking about my senior year of high school as I was sitting in the seats watching her give a speech at her graduation. This kid was at 3 years old at my graduation 15 years ago and now I was sitting at hers watching her get ready to take on the world and I couldn't help but look back at 18 year old me and think about how terrifying my future looked back then!
I was an adult and I had no clue what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I thought I knew everything but I knew that I didn't know anything at all. The only job skill I had was Wal-mart Cashier. I couldn't decide on a college major. I had no clue what I wanted to be when I grew up. I didn't even know who I was then! But I was all grown up at the same time and moved into my first apartment. Had to pay my own bills. Buy my own toilet paper. Wash my own clothes (when my grandmother wouldn't let me bring them back to her house to wash).
All of a sudden I was thrown into adulthood which was something I had waited on my entire life but then when I got there I instantly wished I was back in high school with my grandparents paying all of my bills, making all the hard choices for me again, and washing my laundry so I wouldn't have to deal with that awful chore!
All of that stuff got easier with time obviously. I learned how to do my laundry almost as well as Meemaw did. I figured out what I wanted to do with my life (sort of) I have also learned that we never truly know what all of our life will unfold into until we just go live it. But I learned to love the person I became and be happy with whatever life threw my way and realized that nothing ever has to be set in stone because as soon as you plan your future life will happen and things will change.
If I had one piece of advice though to leave to my little cousin Hanna and anyone graduating, it's this:
Never let a No stop you from becoming what you believe in your heart you are meant to be. You will be told a hundred 'No's' in your life time. Actually thousands of 'No's'. It sounds daunting and discouraging, but don't let it be. I've been told No by SO MANY radio stations when I first realized this was the career path I wanted. But I believed deep down that this was really what I was supposed to be doing with my life so I kept sending out my resume and kept emailing different radio stations and kept interning and pushing my way in until SOMEONE finally gave me a YES. That one yes was all I needed to get me to where I am today. Never let anyone else tell you that what you believe in your heart to be true is wrong. I believed in myself and never let anyone else's opinion change that and after years of hard work and ignoring all the No's I made it!
It was hard. The No's will wear you down and make you question yourself. Sometimes the No's will make you feel like you've gone mad. You might even consider changing your whole direction in life just because of a No... but keep listening to that little voice deep down inside you that knows you will eventually get a Yes. The people telling you no aren't being personal, they are just doing a job. Only you know what you are meant to grow up to be deep down inside so just keep holding out for that Yes to happen when the time is right. You will be so grateful that you did.
Happy Graduation Class of 2018 (and Hanna, I love you kid, thanks for being a part of what molded me into the adult I am today)