I was born and raised in St. Charles, Missouri, just on the outskirts of St. Louis.
After graduating with a B.A. in Journalism, I sent out dozens of resumes and work samples to job openings, many in other states.
I landed a job as a news reporter, five hours away from my home.
I had lived in Missouri all 22 years of my life and had never moved away, yet I packed my bags and out the door I went. Leaving behind my family and friends in Missouri, I moved to Clarksville, Tennessee where I did not know a soul.
A year quickly flew by with many accomplishments and life lessons along the way. Through hard work and determination, my job in Clarksville soon led to me to a road unexpected … a job offer to work for a book publishing company in Nashville.
Although I have always been a career-minded individual, moving away from home and living on my own has brought me even closer to God, strengthened my beliefs and values, and gave me more initiative and drive to strive in my career.
I truly believe this is the time to figure out who you really are, and while you may seem puzzled as to “what’s next” in your journey or feeling a bit uncomfortable. Feeling “uncomfortable” is sometimes a good thing.” Uncomfortable situations force you to grow and motivate you to seek more. They are what transform us into the Godly beings we long to be.
When I first moved to Tennessee, people would ask me the same questions:
“Are you married?” I would reply, “No.”
“Do you have kids?”— “No…”
“So you must have a boyfriend?”— “Nope.”
Then came the ultimate question … “But you’re so pretty … Why are you single?”
I would answer, “I trust God’s timing and right now I’m focused on my career. Oh, and yes, I enjoy it!”
My friends and I can never wrap our heads around this. No, I do not intend on getting married when I am 24-years-old and just beginning to pursue my career. No, I am not married, I don’t have any children, nor do I want any at 24. Dating or being in a relationship is fun and great, but I will date someone because I like/love that person and he inspires me to do my best, not because I “need” to. If someone else validates your happiness, you are in for a rude awaking.
A quality I often use to describe myself as is independent or self-sufficient. It’s quite funny how this one word can be looked down upon or quickly thought of as being “alone.” It baffles me how anyone can see this word as a bad quality or as an intimidation factor. Maybe you may form an idea in your head about someone saying “I don’t need [him, her], I don’t need anyone,” but this is not the case. A self-sufficient man or woman is attractive.
Possessing independent qualities does not mean you are “alone.” First of all, you have God, so you are never truly alone. “Independent” can mean living on your own, paying your own bills, making your own decisions, paying for your own wants and needs, etc. You can be in a relationship and be independent. In fact, with the right relationship, it’s not even thought of. When each person has his or her own life while still making a team effort, it is a true relationship. Being independent simply means you do not depend or rely on another person, man or woman. You connect with others while still growing and expressing your own true self, never losing sight of YOU. You know that you are responsible for yourself, your own happiness and future.
While looking through Facebook one day, I came across an amazing quote, which I altered just a bit for men and women.
“Your independence, confidence, and success only intimidate the people who are not meant for you.”
Man or woman, would you say this is true?
Despite your relationship status, if someone truly loves and cares about you, he or she will be supportive and push you to do your best, not to live a “mediocre” life. Be the best you can be. The right people – friends, relationships – will find you and will not be intimated, but rather have the same mindset. Only you and God determine what your life will be like ten years from now. Are you living comfortably or shooting for the stars? Although those stars may seem like a million miles away, with the right attitude and direction, and through God, nothing is out of reach.
No matter your relationship status, never lose sight of yourself, your dreams and plans. So buckle up ladies and gentlemen and enjoy the ride. What you make of your future is up to YOU. The future lies in your hands. This is your life … is it who you want to be?