It's hard to believe that just six short years ago, I mustered up the courage to start blogging about my life experiences as a recent graduate in Washington, D.C.
I had no game plan or particiular end goal at the time - all that I knew was that I wanted to tell my story and perhaps the stories of my peers. Overtime as I pinpointed my interests, my content began to have purpose and take shape - thus giving me the opportunity to discover my voice. It hasn't always been the easiest to remain consistent, but I am proud to have taken a risk on myself to explore different topics, try new tactics and remain true to my vision to stick to storytelling - no matter how many webinars, online courses and e-books bounced into my inbox.
In honor of the sixth anniversary of my personal domain, I've penned a letter of reflection to my 22-year-old self.
I want to THANK YOU ALL from the bottom of my heart for reading, clicking and sharing my content not just #onhere, but everywhere else that I've shared my thought bubbles for almost a decade. Trust me, the best is still yet to come.
You're starting this namesake digital journal really as a means to raise your voice and establish some credibility as you start your career -- like Newhouse taught you. At 22, you're super introspective, yet hyperaware of what is happening across various industries and how those things impacted you both personally and professionally.
As time goes on, you will start to get a little more strategic with your words and zero in on your focus: the most-talked about generation of all time, the millennials. Instead of just providing updates on moves within tech, business and media, you're going take it a little further and start sharing insight on how your peers could improve their social presence while remaining authentic. (This is going to prove to be a gift that you didn't even know that you had, so stick with it.) You're also going to get the courage to branch out and tell the stories of your fellow Millennials On A Mission - raising awareness of the really dope sh*t their doing in their communities despite the headass things the media says about us being broke, entitled and narcissitic. You'll create an intentional space for you and your fellow dreamers, go-getters and do-ers to inspire and uplift one another as we look to take over the world.
Of course, life is going to happen. You're going to lose a job or two. You'll drift from people who were once friends and experience heartbreak too, but as much as you WANT to write about these events, you'll learn that some things are sometimes better left unsaid (or left off the internet.) You're going to experience your own version of the "quarter-life struggle" but later understand that they're just growing pains and never really go away.
But you're also going to discover your light and realize that you can't allow for anyone or anything to dim its shine. You'll learn to appreciate your twenties, and understand that taking leaps of faith will always be greater than succombing to your fears. You'll trust your transitional shift, and accept that pivots and plot twists can and will only lead to greater things. You'll learn to take time to press the reset button and live life beyond your computer screen because, growth.
You'll also come across some incredible mentors both in your head and in real life who will encourage you to DO YOU and do it well. You'll know how and when to adequately provide a hot take on cultural appropriation, and share how others can take their talents and break into freelance writing just like you will do. You'll learn that while sharing your thoughts and having people listen is cool, it's doing the work that will always trump (OOF) any amount of likes, retweets and shares on social media.
All of these things will open doors, enhance your hustle, introduce you to other very brilliant and talented people and help you develop your stronger sense of self -- but you have to remain diligent, inquisitive and curious. Don't give up on that promise you made to yourself while sitting on your cousin's couch with your laptop. Continue to strive to become a better storyteller on topics that matter most to you, and never be ashamed to ask for help from others when you need it.
I'm proud of who you are at this moment, and most importantly of the woman who you will become. Now get to work, girl!