Getting Personal

Impatience Pays Off

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.”

Getting Personal

Own It: The Launch of Short Dog Social

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.

Getting Personal

Post-Graduation Feels: Lessons in Adulthood

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Getting Personal st. louis

To The New Owners Of My House

Congratulations, you just closed on your first house! What an exciting time. I should know – it was my first house, too.

Getting Personal

Adoption: Finding My Past

Have you ever felt as though a part of you was missing?

It’s no secret that I was adopted – I can’t even remember being told that I was because it was such common knowledge in my home. When I was old enough to start to really understand what it meant, my parents gave me a half of a necklace, the other half belonging to my birth mom.

Throughout the years, I received some other small gifts – a journal with a note from my birth mom, a bracelet on my 18th birthday – but never any identifying information due to Missouri adoption laws.

As I got older, I got more curious. Shortly before getting married, I looked into what it would take to find my birth mom. At the time of my limited research, it appeared as though without an (expensive) private detective, I was out of luck.

I tried again this Spring, as thoughts of future babies popped into my head, realizing how little I know about my health history, my family, and selfishly, my future looks.

My best friends had always suggested using Facebook, but I shrugged it off. In my eyes, Facebook is a business tool for brands to reach customers, and a tool for every person I went to high school with to announce their engagements and pregnancies. Luckily, after a few glasses of wine on a beautiful February weekend, I caved in and shared my story.

142 shares later, all I had was a timeline full of me in that red dress (thanks, Rent the Runway!), and upset parents for not telling them I was doing this. However, the one plus was that my mom shared this little detail: there was a photo of my parents in my file at the Children’s Home Society. I quickly shot a note to the adoption coordinator my parents worked with and got my first glimpse of my birth parents.

I went back and forth for weeks on whether or not to try one last Facebook post featuring my birth mom, and finally decided to do it. Within 12 hours, I had three people contact me saying they knew who it is, and after a good stalking session across social media, I worked up enough nerve to send her a message. A few hours later, I got my answer – I had found my birth mom.

As I write this, I’m still incredibly overwhelmed that after 28 years, I know who courageously gave me up for adoption. I now know that I was born via c-section, and that my birth mom demanded I stay with her during her recovery, even though it’s not allowed. I know that my birth aunt, who was 8 at the time, made me an Easter basket as they celebrated three days after I was born on Good Friday.

I now know what has been missing all this time.