When I Grow Up

Melissa, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I always remember during my childhood days people asking me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I’m pretty sure from about the time I could talk til about the time I was 15 I wanted to be a famous singer. Me and my childhood friend Caitie would run up to those little apartment brochure stands in the front of grocery stores and gas stations and collect as many free ones we could so we could pick out our future home that we would live in together one day. (they were some very extravagant places let me tell you). Not only did we want to travel the world together as famous musicians, we wanted to do so an a sick RV. That was my dream. After that, I dabbled in cheerleading and other musical fields. It wasn’t until I got to college that having to really choose what I wanted to be became important.

During my freshman year at Liberty University I decided that I was going to go into communications, because one, I’m quite a talker, and two, everyone said I’d be a great news or television anchor. Yeah….about that. I hate public speaking. I am the most extroverted person when it comes to not being shy, but when you stick me in front of a room with a lot of people and ask me to speak/perform (probably one of the main reasons being famous singer never was in the cards for me) I freeze up. Not my cup of tea at all. So I switch from broadcast communication to communications with a focus on advertising and decided I’d be really ambitious and study graphic design too. I’m not sure exactly why I chose to do two majors but the two seemed to work hand-in-hand and I figured if I’m going to be good at something I might as well learn another aspect of it as well.

I liked advertising, but I LOVED design. I fell completely in love with the idea of creating something unique and brand new and being able to call it my own. It challenged me to think outside the box and look at things in a whole new way. Now, instead of reading a simple magazine, or looking at someone’s business card or website, I tear it apart into how it represents design. I start saying, “Oh that typeface is a dafont font that I’ve used before” or “man that logo text could really use some kearning.” Its so much fun! I couldn’t watch a commercial without asking myself, “I wonder who their target market is?” or “wow, I hate the way that box of cereal is packaged, so I’m gonna buy that one because it looks like a fifth grader designed the other one that’s cheaper.” (huge problem I have. I refuse to buy ugly products.) Ceriously haha. Who wants to by that ugly Great Value cereal, when you have that awesomely designed fruit loop box staring at you. Just “food” for thought. Man, my sense of humor is awesome right?

So now that graduation is a mere two weeks away, the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up” is really starting to sink in. When you’re little you don’t have options really, you have imagination. When you’re “grown up” you have options, you have to weigh the pros and cons, you have other things that factor into the decisions you make.  I could be a creative director, or the owner of my own design/photography company, or just a graphic artist at an advertising or design firm. The options are endless. You’re faced with the fact that some people are better than you.  One thing that has really helped me get through the past couple of days is knowing my weaknesses and strengths and taking what I’ve been blessed with and doing the best I possible can with it. As I sat in the communications award ceremony to receive my honors cord, I was reminded of how I even made it through these past four years and who gave me the strength and skills to do so. I was reading Sarah Young’s “Jesus Calling”, which my beautiful friend Taylor recommended to me and one of the daily devos was this:

“Let me teach you thankfulness. Begin by acknowledging that everything—all your possessions and all that you are—belongs to Me. The dawning of each new day is a gift from Me, not to be taken for granted. The earth is vibrantly alive with My blessings, giving vivid testimony to My Presence. If you slow down your pace of life, you can find Me anywhere. Some of My most precious children have been laid aside in sick beds or shut away in prisons. Others have voluntarily learned the discipline of spending time alone with me. The secret of being thankful is learning to see everything from My perspective. My world is your classroom. My Word is a lamp to your feet and a light for your path.

The Bible doesn’t make sense to me a lot of the times, but when it does, it hits me like a semi truck. I am SO grateful that God has given me the abilities to do what I do, yeah, so I have to put in the hours of work but who gives me the health to do so?

So anyway, with graduation approaching I may get stressed out about deciding on a grad school, getting my first job, or choosing a place to live. That’s is OKAY.

On to some other things….

So one thing that I started doing is budgeting. It’s a very foreign task for the impulsive spender that I am. I’ve been reading Suze Orman’s “Young, Famous and Broke” and boy has it been a helpful guide to getting my finances in order. It’s a good feeling to know where your money is going and how you can be financially responsible. I used to always hate talking about money because it was so stressful when it wasn’t there when I needed it or it was too confusing to understand interest and all that nonsense. But, when I actually took the time to sit down and once again, face my problems, I found it pretty helpful. Cheers to being on a budget.

Talk to you soon.

M.

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