I started the year off with a lot of uncertainty in every of aspect of my life. A guy that I was into the summer before my last year in uni, (who played with my emotions) apologised to me for how he treated me. You know the moment where you planned out if the day ever came, how you would look and how you would respond? Yeah, well that day came and I was completely blind-sided. What prompted him to open up to me in that manner? I still don’t know but I appreciated his acknowledgment of how much of an arse he was (even if it took a year and some change). I finally got closure and I knew that I could no longer let that ‘situation’ impact my love life any further.
Due to circumstances that took place towards the end of 2012, my job was in limbo and I was in the last stages of the interview process with a prospective job. I wasn’t sure if I was going to get the job or not but I was hoping for a turn-around, something that would lead me to what I exactly what I wanted to do. No longer would I deal with co-workers or supervisors who were threatened by my achievements at work or my desire to learn more. There is usually a defining moment that takes place, which allows you to re-evaluate your goals and this moment was it. I ended up missing my connecting flight back to DC, which then delayed my baggage and I subsequently missed the 3rd interview. In tears at the airport, I wrote an email to re-schedule; I couldn’t believe that the year was starting off this way. When I finally got back home, I was fortunate to have the interview but was annoyed that it was snowing. Walking in heels towards the building I tried to cheer myself up but somehow I knew that I blew my chance. A month later of no communication, I decided that I couldn’t go on like this and I needed some sort of change.
Another uncertainty I had was my love life. I remember talking to a good friend of mine who I think of as a sister about this guy who I was interested in but somehow things didn’t really go as planned. Of course the lack of my love life wasn’t anything new to the people closest to me but I decided that in 2013 I wanted something more than just going on dates and endless conversations leading to nowhere. Well that guy that I mentioned earlier that didn’t quite work out…well, he came back in the picture. It took me awhile to open up to him but once I did it changed everything. However, there was a big disadvantage we did not live in the same country. With 3,000 + miles separating us I didn’t know if this would ever work. We became a couple towards the end of January and all I could think was, “great, I have a boyfriend who I can’t see often…yea, just my luck.” I was certain that I wasn’t making a mistake and every day that we talked, our bond grew strong. To be frank, I enjoyed being away from him because there was no rush …literally. Here was someone who made the effort to talk to me everyday despite the 6 hour difference and he knew more of what I was dealing with in D.C. then my own family. He became my best-friend.
As the months went by, I left my former place of employment and took a temporary gig that would test me both emotionally and mentally. I wasn’t sure where this would lead but that job basically confirmed to me that I no longer wanted to work in the states. I called up my mentor and told him my idea of this graduate programme in the UK, not one for sugar-coating his feelings he reminded me that we had this conversation before I graduated in 2011. Embarrassed, I confided in him that I didn’t believe in myself. I never truly believed in my abilities per say…from my family background, STEM programs are highly desirable and stressed upon. However, me leaving Pharmacy to enter into the world of journalism/marketing was frowned at. I’ve heard the whispers and the concerned comments that followed me for years and with every failed attempt to get one job or another, my insecurities multiplied. For every accomplishment or job that I did find and acquired by MYSELF, it was not enough to make people see that I was skilled…that I was talented.
“Jennifer, how many times do I tell you that you have what it takes. So many people have told you ‘no’ but despite all of that, you continue to strive and show them. Remember when he told you that you wouldn’t be graduating this year and that you were the definition of “insanity”? Remember when they didn’t think you couldn’t pass the entrance exam to get into the programme? Remember when they thought that you’re writing was mediocre but yet you have been published in several publications and on your intended graduation date you were on a plane heading to France to work at the Cannes Film Festival? So if you could achieve all of that with naysayers why would you confirm their thoughts and deny yourself?”
Silently I cried. He was right.
I shared my concerns with my boyfriend and once he again he remained confident in my abilities and supported my decisions. There were many emails back in forth revising my grad school application and cv and not one moment did he ever tell me that I wasn’t qualified. Not only was he my boyfriend but he was my confidant….my best friend. There were so many days that I felt lonely in DC, with no close family members and my closest friends scattered around the states I decided to focus on bettering myself. As I planned my trip to see the boyfriend things around me were looking quite dim. There were issues at home and my living situation was no longer conducive for me and so I had to up and move. Once again, I had to pack up myself and with a help of my good friend, start over.
Finally spending time with the boo put things in perspective for me. What people don’t understand is that maintaining a relationship is difficult, now add distance into the equation and your entering a whole new ball game. The days I spent in London were amazing. Dates, talks, observing and living was the much intended break that I needed from my life back in the states. I remember arriving to the airport to leave and I was fighting back tears. How could I go back without him, someone who I talked to every waking day? We made a promise to each other and I had every intention of keeping up my part. Things weren’t the same when I came back, we missed each other terribly and bad internet connection and late night talks were no longer durable.
After tirelessly editing and re-editing my graduate applications, I sent them off with lots of prayers and decided that I will make the best of what 2013 had to offer.
Things at my temporary gig was finally coming to a close when I decided to take out time to travel and meet my friends in Tennessee. Maybe it was a warning sign when my wallet was left at the casino only to be returned to me an hour before I had to leave. Not only was I thinking of taking my passport, but I was running around trying to get a temporary id, that was pointless. I really wanted to get out of DC and see familiar faces and laugh and do all the things with my friends that we used to do when we were in undergrad. Unfortunately, the trip didn’t turn out great and was left confused, hurt and disappointed. To make matters worse, I lost my wallet when I came back, couldn’t make it into work and when I got back to work, I was let go…just in time for the boo to come. It was HORRIBLE!
Thankfully, I got accepted into 4 out of 5 programmes I applied for. I got a great opportunity to work with the DOD (Department of Defense) before I left. I lost a few people in my life and gained a few. I took risks, felt disappointment and spilled some tears. We are so focused on highlighting our good moments that we rarely mention the bad. On the brighter side, I am in the UK pursuing my Masters, currently working and sharpening my skills, meeting some amazing people and creating memories that will last me a lifetime. I’m not afraid to admit that I have flaws and that I don’t have all the answers; some want to be perfect, for me, perfect is boring. I hate boring.
So for 2014, I am aiming to reach newer heights and achieve new goals and I can’t wait to share them with you all!