Trusting the Process
Usually, my articles and posts are music related and focused on the latest and greatest within the music industry (or at least what I feel to be great / worthy of my attention). However, I felt it necessary to create this post as a tool of encouragement for myself and for others.
I'm 25 years old. I graduated from college (Hampton University) on May 14, 2017, with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. More recently, on Tuesday (Oct. 22), I (officially) graduated from LIM College to receive my Masters of Professional Studies in Fashion Marketing. With these accolades and high achievements, one might think: 1. He has to have a pretty good job, in his field. 2. He's on top of the world right now. Well, truthfully, neither of those are completely correct.
When it comes to my actual money maker, currently I work as a Service Experience Representative (a fancy way of saying customer service sales rep) at Nordstrom Rack. While, I'm immensely grateful simply to even have a job during these challenging, unpredictable times, I truthfully feel... behind, stagnant, and lacking (at times). Long story short, before I graduated from Hampton, I had been applying nonstop for jobs. I remember my friend would come over my apartment; we'd do homework and projects together, and even take time to apply to jobs and look for positions and roles in our field we felt would be suitable for us. Shout out to her, she always stayed on me about that too... "Did you apply to jobs today?" I used to be annoyed sometimes but looking back, I know it all came from a place of love.
Moving forward, as graduation neared, and I remember seeing so many of my peers announcing these guaranteed positions and jobs / internships they received before we'd even walked the stage. Of course, I was happy for them but I was confused. "Had I not worked hard enough, God?" "Was my skill set not as good?" "What am I doing wrong?" As you can see, the spirit of comparison hit me pretty heavy. I know, it shouldn't have. I know, you can't compare your chapter 1 to someone's chapter 10. I know, you're supposed to trust the process. But, in that moment, I didn't want to hear any of that.
Graduation came, I graduated Summa Cum Laude, and I believe I also graduated within the top 15% of my class. My family and friends came to see me and for a moment, I felt like I was on top of the world. Reality struck when I came back to Maryland. I no longer had my apartment to retreat to, and... I was jobless. For the next couple of months following graduation, I would sit in my house, in the dark usually with Law and Order SVU or SpongeBob reruns playing as I tirelessly applied to jobs. I didn't hang out with my friends much. I felt defeated. My father had to make me realize I hadn't even seen them in sometime and to go enjoy my youth. My mother who was 100% supportive, convinced me to start applying to anything just to start getting money while on the pursuit of my dreams (hence why I ended up applying to Nordstrom Rack).
So, listening to my mother, I ended up applying to Nordstrom Rack and they were literally the only job that responded to me and hired me right away and fast forward 3 years later and the rest is history. Obviously since then, I've made incredible strides. I stumbled across this Los Angeles based entertainment magazine, BallerStatus during the summer of 2017 and emailed them for at least 3 months to no avail. Eventually, they found me and reached out to me in the Fall of 2017 and I cemented great relationships there. I actually still write for them now (check out my latest work if you ever have time.)
In 2018 (well officially, but even prior to this he had been drilling me), my cousin, more like a brother (shout out to him to this very day) had been hassling me about creating this very blog I'm writing on now. After being sick of my excuses, he literally created this platform for me and basically told me, "You're going to be great whether you like it or not!" From both BallerStatus and this blog (and other side ventures, profiles, local interviews, etc.), I have gained so many great experiences. I was able to interview both Nick Cannon (2018) and D Smoke (back in April of this year) on BallerStatus. Through my own blog, one of my newest favorite artists saw, read, and COMMENTED on my blog posts telling me how great my work was.
Even with those great moments, it is oh so easy to be discouraged. I have yet to earn one penny from my writing. I've been writing quality content probably since I was 18. I have written over a hundred different articles ranging from music, pop culture, film, tv, and more. I truly put my blood, sweat, and tears into every piece I write. I try to put all of me in everything I share with the world. Sometimes, I let my thoughts get to me and I start to wonder if I'm running out of time. I know what you're thinking- "Boy, you're only 25... You are young!" I agree! But, at times, it seems like I'm chasing an unattainable dream. There are times where I feel like I'm simply just... behind everyone else.
Again, I know comparison is not of God by far. However, it can be a little frustrating when you know your worth and what you're capable of but the opportunities simply have not come. It can be even more frustrating when you see others who had so much help get to where they are and you're alone just trying to figure it out without handouts. I won't lie, it can be easy to give up in some moments.
Now, this is not some bitter blog post to highlight how great I am, cry for attention, or play the "woe is me" role. Again, I know that my work is great. I've learned to speak highly of myself and my craft. I know that I am one of the best writers that I know. This is the first time I've ever really even spoken like this about my work. I'm only sharing this to say that even in those moments of utter confusion, discouragement, and frustration / anger, I know God is still here with me. I know his plans are even greater than mine Jeremiah 29:11 told me that. I know Proverbs 3:5 tells me to not even attempt to lean on my own understanding but to trust in Him. Yes, I'm not rich (yet). Yes, I don't have that position (yet). However, I know that the Lord is working for my good because He is indeed intentional. I share this to say, I'm not perfect.
I stumble sometimes. However, I refuse to give up. That's what Satan wants from us. Also, do not self-sabotage yourself! I am my own worst enemy in some moments. My thoughts try to flood me and make me feel like I'm not enough. That is when I have to just get in God's presence and remind myself why I'm even doing this. I have to remind myself it is HE who even has given me this ability and skill to tell stories through my writing. It is HE that I'm serving not man. My time is coming. I also have to remind myself that I. AM. PRESSURE. Even in my lowest moments, I have to remind myself that God loves me so much that He felt my presence on this Earth was necessary. I come from a royal priesthood. I am made in the image of God and I am covered by Him. So with that being said, mountains have to move, opportunities simply have to come, and blessings have to shower me overwhelmingly.
I'll look back at this moment honestly in utter humor like "Wow, look how worried and not trusting of God I was." Hopefully if any other creatives, regardless of the industry or field feel this way you can look to this and know you're not alone. Keep your focus. Keep creating. If you need to step back, go right ahead but do not give up. Your time is literally coming. Your season is here. We will be alright! Trust yourself, trust the process, and trust that God has us in the very palm of His hands.
Stay safe and stay encouraged everyone.