A year or so ago at my sister’s graduation from the University of Georgia, I got the chance to hear Amy Robach speak. If you don’t know who Amy Robach is, I’m sincerely sad for you. Not only is she a Grady grad (like me) from UGA, but she is also a TV Journalist for ABC‘s Good Morning America (my daily fix). Now… most times people can barely keep their eyes open through commencement speeches and definitely couldn’t tell you much about them afterwards, unless in case you were part of UGA’s Class of 2016 who had Ryan Seacrest come speak at their graduation… I’m so jealous. But really, I have no idea who spoke at my own graduation and all I could think was sound off the fireworks!
Amy’s speech though, really resonated with me. I was trying to decide whether or not to take a job offer with the company I currently work for, but her words pushed me to go for it. I loved where I worked and although I wanted to work at an agency, it wasn’t in a city I wanted to be in, but because of Amy I knew it was time to jump and that this leap of faith would soon lead to even greater things.
In her speech she said, “You create your own luck… and one of the ways you do that, is by saying this simple word, enthusiastically and often… ‘yes’. You should say ‘yes’ as much as possible. Say ‘yes’ to the scary stuff, say ‘yes’ to the seemingly menial stuff… You’ll be surprised how that one, small, three letter word will open doors.”
This quote has forever stuck with me and is now part of my life mantra. If you are currently in a situation where you are afraid to jump, I hope this will inspire you to do so. Here are five times I jumped when I was afraid and I’m glad I did.
1. Taking my job at M3 Agency
I was so nervous about taking this job. I was really comfortable with where I was and thriving, but I knew this opportunity came across my path for a reason. Although, it’s brought stress and tears and many cheeseburgers into my life, it’s also brought amazing people, an incredible amount of experience in my field and a better source of income. Plus, I don’t feel stagnant every day at an office, I feel like I’m building a career.
2. Creating this blog
I have received so many compliments and kind words in regards to my blog, but do you know how deathly afraid I am every time I post to hear something negative back? I know it sounds silly, but writing for friends and family is one thing… knowing that thousands and thousands of people are reading your work is another…but although it can be terrifying, it’s also so rewarding. I love writing and I love entertaining people and if I can bring joy to thousands of people by doing that, why not?
3. Marrying my now husband, Bryan Freeman
Getting married is in most people’s life plans and seems easy, but to me, it’s definitely a jump. I mean… you are choosing one person to love no matter what, through fun and amazing times and also through hard and trying times. Knowing that you made the right decision and picked the one right person in the world for you is scary and you second guess yourself. When I was graduating from college, I was all about having a wedding. I soon realized there’s more to getting married and was very outspokenly not ready as you might remember me writing about back in 2014 in my post The Dreaded Question… When are You Getting Engaged? You never feel 100% ready, but when he pops that question and you immediately know your answer is “yes”, you know it’s time. It honestly has been one of the best and most fun life steps I’ve taken so far and I’m so glad I did.
4. Adding a second major to my course load
Going to school and getting a degree is difficult enough in itself, but adding a second major was really nerve racking. After somewhat aimlessly taking courses that interested me my freshman year, my advisor and I realized that I had taken a lot of courses outside of my Advertising major, that fell in the Speech Communication field (now known as Communication Studies). She mentioned I was on my way to being able to complete both degrees, if I just put in a little extra work and instead of adding in a few fluff classes, took more Communication Studies courses. I thought long and hard about this, realizing my plate was already pretty full and that I could have a really easy schedule senior year if I just stayed with one major, but something inside of me knew that wasn’t the way to go. It was hard, but it was definitely worth it. Now, I have two pretty degrees for my wall, not to mention, in interviews, potential employers are always impressed. Most of all though, my Communication Studies classes helped me build myself as a person. My Environmental Communication class gave me a better understanding of the world around me and inspired my love for the environment. My Law Communication course gave me an inside view of how legal proceedings really work and a greater appreciation for law and justice. Finally, my most cherished college course, Women’s Studies, made me the feminist I am today. I’ll never forget the light she brought to issues such as racism, classism and sexism and I really owe a lot of my self growth to that professor.
5. Going off to school
I know going off to college doesn’t seem that scary, we all do it, but if you think back to how you felt the day you went off to school, chances are you were a little nervous. I couldn’t have been more excited. The second half of my senior year sucked and I was ready to leave that town and those people behind, but the moment my mom and dad left me behind at Tate Student Center, I suddenly felt alone, lost and homesick. I was depressed for the whole entire first week, calling my mom and boyfriend and telling them I was ready to come home. My mom gave me a little tough love though and pushed me to stick with it and really jump into things and a week later, I was fine. I found my home, my people, classes I loved and a town I will never forget. It truly was the best experience and definitely worth the growing pains.
I’m still young and have a lot of jumping into the unknown left to do, but if Amy Robach is as wise as I think she is and if my leaps of faith keep paying off the way they have in the past, you can be sure I’ll continue to say “yes”. There are so many opportunities in life and if we don’t seize the moment and take the chance, we’ll never know what we could be missing out on. I hope I’ll be able to come back to you in 50 years and tell you about all of the crazy things I said “yes” to. Tell me about the times you’ve jumped, maybe it was moving to a new city or country, deciding to have children, starting your own business – I’d love to hear about it!
C’est la vie,