Hindsight is 20/20

When a woman changes her hair, she is about to change her life.
— Coco Chanel

My "year" has always run from September to September instead January to January, partially because I am still a student and the new school year always begins in September, and partially because my birthday is in September and therefore, the month quite literally brings about a new year of life for me. September is just around the corner, so I'm taking a few minutes to look back on the past 12 months. Last summer, I decided to change my hair and dye it pink - little did I know my life would follow suit and change, too.

Unknowingly, I proved Coco Chanel right.

A year ago, I was working at Target. I had landed a summer internship elsewhere, but after four weeks, I quit. I'm not usually the type to quit on something, especially not so early, but the position had me calling my dad during my lunch break every single day in tears, full of anxiety and not knowing what to do. I didn't sleep well because I was so nervous for the next day to begin. I didn't think I could quit, because I had accepted the role and didn't want to let anyone down.

I thought I needed the title "intern" as a sophomore in college to prove myself impressive and ahead of everyone else. In hindsight, quitting was the best decision I made for my mental health, except that it landed me back in a red T-shirt and khaki pants, feeling slightly inadequate and as though I would never be successful if I was working the same part-time gig as everyone else.

I remember the conversations I had with myself, reminding myself that my mental health was far more important than a silly internship that paid me $4/hr. I reminded myself I was young, and that it was far from abnormal to be cashiering and stocking shelves at age 20. But still, I would log on to LinkedIn and see only 4 measly positions listed on my profile, and dream about the day I'd be adding relevant experience.

Today, I'm adding relevant experience.

A year ago, I never would have seen myself writing a blog post for my personal website, nor would I have expected to see an entire page dedicated to my work – highlighting the relevant positions I've held and my hope for positions to come. A year ago, I just never would have expected I'd be a successful, functioning adult by the time I graduated college, but here I am - only one semester from graduation - and I'm well on my way to finding a stable career.

A year ago, I was lonely, insecure, and afraid. I was stressed about things that didn't matter in the bigger picture. A year ago, I dyed my hair pink and drank a lot of margaritas and didn't get much sleep, but I learned a very important lesson:

‘No’ might make them angry, but it will make you free. –If no one has ever told you, your freedom is more important than their anger.

I'm still trying to figure out who I am, and I think to some extent, I always will be. But, taking a leap of faith and quitting that internship, sucking it up at Target, and focusing on the future were the best decisions I made for myself last summer. In hindsight, they brought me to my current position of success, because I learned what I like about jobs, what to watch out for, and most importantly: I learned to not settle for something that makes me miserable.

I finally feel like I'm on a successful path and that the world is mine for the taking. Thank goodness for change.