August 25, 2014

One Way Ticket

Happy Monday ya'll! I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend; I know most of you will be returning to school soon, if you haven't already, so enjoy these last few precious moments of summer while you can :]

Over the next two days here on the blog, I will be sharing the stories of two girls just like me and you, who both picked up and moved to the big apple right after graduation.  Even with job prospects and a general plan, the idea of buying a one way ticket anywhere makes me nervous, but these ladies did it! Talk about brave and inspiring.

Up first is my friend Shiara. Her's is a story of ups and downs and NEVER giving up on yourself, or your dreams. I learned something from her and I know you will too!

Below is her open letter to all of you. Enjoy!

To get straight to it I moved here as the result of the downside of a self-given ultimatum. Towards the end of my senior year I decided I wanted to go to grade school. I still had my eyes set on corporate marketing, Nike or Proctor & Gamble. So, of course I applied. After taking the GMAT and feeling more defeated than Lolo Jones during here Olympic Gold attempts, I issued an ultimatum: If I get into one of my top choices, preferably The University of Chicago, I will move and go to grad school, if I don’t get in, I will move to New York. On July 17, 2013 I hoped on a plane, face full of fear, and headed to New York.

Being the planner that I was, I already had an apartment and internship lined up.  My apartment in Lexington had been packed up and most of my belongings went back home to Ohio.  I left from Louisville, KY with two suitcases and a backpack. After landing in New York I took a long trip to my new apartment! First months rent, and security deposit down, I called the owner to let him know u was at the apartment…only to find out I was scammed! The apartment was fake. Not only were we scammed for money, I was in the middle of Brooklyn with two bags and nowhere to go.

Luckily my ex-boyfriend was interning in NY for the summer so he came and got me and let me stay with him for a couple of days. As if the apartment situation wasn’t sad enough, I now had to invade the space of someone I knew didn’t really want my company. Don’t worry, it gets worse. I finally started my internship; I quit after 3 days. The position turned out to be nothing what I expected. I felt as though I was being exploited and had already invested my thoughts and efforts prior to even moving. I had to come to terms with the fact that I couldn’t settle. So, I stayed at a hotel for two weeks, crashed with a fellow UK Athlete Alum, and then with my ex-boyfriend AGAIN, all the while searching for a job and apartment. For me, this was rock bottom. I had never not been able to attain a goal for the majority of my life, things were always much easier; insert enormous wake up call.

I felt down and started to doubt myself, my abilities, and my character. I was unwavering in what fact, I was not going to go back home. I finally found an newly renovated apartment in the hood out in BedStuy, and landed two jobs, one in retail and the other with an Event Production company. The latter thanks to an amazing friend of mine, Matt Frawley. I was turned down for at least 20 jobs (office, corporate, bartending, retail, hostessing) and denied for 2 apartments, but finally I was on the come up! I thought at the time. The ONLY things that got me through this time were prayer, and the amazing support system I have.

Over the next six months I struggled to make genuine friends. This was extremely hard for me because I had moved around all my life and making friends always came easy. I became very down, introvert, and honestly, borderline depressed. The insane winter we had didn’t help me becoming a homebody. All summer I had no problems going out and attending events by myself, but now, NO WAY. After spending my first Christmas ever away from my family, it seemed like my happiness was at an all time low. Where did Shiara go? I was stuck and had to get out of the unhappy place I found myself in. I wasn’t happy with my apartment, I literally went to work and did the bare minimum at my retail job, I stopped going into the office at the Event Production company and I was no longer putting myself out there.

I made a really good friend at work the couple of months leading up to that point and finally had someone I could trust. I started applying for various internships and jobs in the fashion industry and things started to turn around. I started reading the Bible, going to church, and taking back my happiness. I planned my first event on my own and got to see my work come to life. I also began PAing (Production Assistant) For a Creative Agency on fashion photo shoots. To make things even better, I was going home for the first time in almost a year!

Things were continuing to get better. I went home and was rejuvenated. Once I got back I was working jobs and having fun meeting new people. I had a completely new outlook on lie due to the last 11 months. I was grateful, but still starving. Between becoming a top choice for jobs, going to shows of my new found artist friends, launching my website/blog and finding a new apartment, I could genuinely say I was happy again.

To be honest it has not been easy. Making it in new york is hard as hell, and I’m no where near making it yet. I’ve always been my hardest critical and am so appreciative of that. My main and only focus right now is positioning myself to have a great 2nd year in New York. I am still working as a Production Assistant when requested for jobs, have started interning for a creative agency set to launch in 2015, and have my first wedding coming up next month. Not only do I want to be successful and look good doing it, I want give my parents all their hopes and dreams. I want to be bathed in Champagne and dressed in La Perla and Balmain. I want to be bigger and better than Van Wyck. I want a beautiful family. I want to exceed my dreams dreams. And then, I want to help another girl from suburbs make it....



Danielle said...

This is such an amazing story! Not only has Shiara inspired me, I know she will inspire so many other women striving for the same success. I wish her the best of luck in all her future endeavours. I know New York in 2015 will be great!

Morgan Paige said...

I'm glad you enjoyed her feature!

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