As a Type-A personality, I’ve always set goals for myself. Graduate college early? Check. Get married at 25? Check. Have a baby at 28? Not so much.
One year ago today, April 18, 2017, I was rushing home from work to get ready for my best friend to come over and watch the beginning of the end of Pretty Little Liars. It was a hell of a day – issue after issue at work, a busy weekend of back-to-back family events to stress over, and to top it off, my DVR was NOT set to record.
I walked in the door and told Andy I was done. I hated being this stressed. I hated the commute. I needed a change.
“Let’s move. You pick the place. I just want out.”
I am starting my own business.
Oh, it’s not a REAL business. It’s just called that for tax purposes.
Why is it so hard to own up to your successes? It’s easy to own up to your failures – I’ll quickly tell you that I’m not a good salesperson, and diets are not my thing. It’s inherent to be modest about the things we do well.
I mean, it’s just freelancing.
Think about the last person who complimented you – did you say “thanks,” or make an excuse for why the positive thing was given to you?
I’m really just doing work for a few friends.
Time to change the narrative and own up to what is really happening in my life.
Raise your hand if you have no idea where this year went. Between a new time zone and unlimited warm weather, my internal schedule is off. However, I do have a fresh new planner that starts on Monday, so it’s time to set some goals for 2018.
As I mentioned in the past, I’m not a big fan of resolutions. I do, however, have a few things I need to accomplish in the upcoming year.
This was on my list for last year, and I do believe I have started to simplify my life a bit, but there is more work to do. Between decluttering, finishing unpacking and getting ahold on what’s important, this will be a priority starting on January 1.
How? For once, I have a clear cut action plan thanks to Emily Ley’s “A Simplified Life.” Starting on Monday, I’ll work through my pantry (which aligns with another goal for the year), followed by my under-stairs storage and closet.
Focus on a Healthy Lifestyle
I hit a breaking point in early November. I was diagnosed with PCOS, bringing to light what I already knew – I have to take care of myself better.
How? Starting January 2, I’m going to begin Whole30. I did a quick Whole13 in November, but it quickly derailed with visitors and holidays approaching. I got a good sense of the program, though, and will be partnering with neighbors and coworkers to get ideas and support. I also downloaded the Couch to 5K app again. I haven’t signed up for an event, but I need a way to enjoy this beautiful weather while my friends and family suffer through snow and ice.
Invest in my Business
How? I set a goal for myself to write 15 blog posts in 2018, in addition to signing 4 new clients. It’s a lofty goal, but a little hustle will go a long way. Plus, I already have 10 topic ideas in a note for myself on my iPhone.
Fun fact: moving cross-country isn’t cheap. I have my fair share of credit card debt, but I’m committed to clearing it out this year.
How? To start, I signed up with Trim, a bot that negotiates your bills for you. They saved me $360 over the year in a matter of hours! I am also working a second job, where all income is going directly to my bills. From a savings perspective, I’m obsessed with Digit. The app connects directly to my bank account and pulls out small amounts each day for a separate savings account. You can set goals (such as Christmas gifts or your best friends wedding), which makes it SO easy to prepare for the inevitable.
Timehop has quickly entered the running for my favorite app. Every morning, I read the Skimm, check my inbox, and open up the yellow dinosaur to see what it was I did in the past 10 years on this same date. Most of the time, I’ll see a picture of my dog (obviously a great sign), some college shenanigans, and a Facebook status from the days of “Ashley Glatz is…”
This time of year, however, I see the constant reminder that I graduated from the University of Missouri’s award-winning Journalism school, a semester early, and with honors. The Missouri Method lives in newsrooms across the country, while I sit in my less-than-expected sales role. It’s a rude reminder that my hopes and dreams of becoming the next Erin Andrews or leading the charge for Disney’s global advertising remain just that, dreams.
From the moment I turned 13, I jumped at the opportunity to write for the school paper. In high school, I was promoted to Sports Editor, then Layout Editor. I didn’t even apply for another college – I knew I was going to be a Tiger, and thanks to my high ACT scores, I was placed into the program as a freshman. When I first stepped foot on campus in the summer of 2005 for journalism camp, I knew I found my home. Two summers later, I went to campus for Summer Welcome, where I first heard Profession Cyndi Frisby introduce the idea of “Strategic Communications” – a subsection of the program that taught students about the world of public relations and advertising. As someone who watched the Super Bowl for the ads only, I felt this was my best shot in the successful career I was imagining.
The next 3.5 years were some of my best. You can read that later.
After graduation, I took the first job I was offered – an associate media planner role at an agricultural agency in the city. My first day of work saw 2.5 inches of snow, along with my first “I can’t come in” email thanks to my beloved Mitsubishi Eclipse. Overall, I lasted 6 months. Sorry Professor Frisby – media planning was not for me.
The next three years saw a variety of industry-adjacent jobs, with a focus on social media. I landed a job at the top PR firm in St. Louis, a company that was proactively shoved down my throat during my last three semesters of my program, and gave me the best experience I could ask for over the last three years.
Here again, life happened, and we moved across the country. More on that at a later time. (Seriously. I need to write something about it. It was kind of a big deal).
Looking back now, I’m not sure I would have changed anything, but I would have enjoyed the following pieces of advice:
- Adulthood is hard. I don’t know if I thought it would be easy, but when I stepped off the stage at graduation I definitely didn’t think it’d be like this. There are amazing things and horrible things that merge together for a crazy intersection of tears, laughs and growth. Appreciate it, but don’t expect it to be simple.
- There is no perfect job. Someone once told me “your job will never fill you up,” and I wish they told me sooner. What matters most is your family, your health, your friends, your hobbies. Not your 9-to-5.
- Introduce yourself to alumni. Coming home from the grocery store the other night, I saw a car drive by with a familiar looking license plate cover. I got uncomfortably close to the car to realize it indeed said “Missouri Tigers,” before deciding against honking and screaming M-I-Z across the way. However, it brought me great joy to know that 1,315 miles away from Columbia, MO, there was another person who knew the words to Old Missouri. Plus, without it, I’m not sure I would have been hired at two of my previous jobs. The Mizzou Mafia runs strong.
- Lean on each other. I’m a firm believer in the quarter-life crisis, and I’m not the only one. This is why happy hours and brunches and text messages were invented – to be able to communicate with others living similar but different lives. Utilize them.
- Don’t stop dreaming big. Why do we stop asking “what do you want to be when you grow up?” At 28, I’m still not entirely sure I know the answer. I know what I’m passionate about – I’m just not sure what path will lead me there. Luckily, I’ve got another 37 years until retirement to figure it out.
Cheers to the class of 2017, and an extra *clink* for those who came before them.