It’s officially been over ten weeks since I wrote that blog post, and needless to say it’s been a hectic and eventful time since then. You may have noticed blog posts over the summer have been a bit sporatic, and I’m hoping this will shed some light on not only what’s been going on, but some of the exciting things on the horizon and what’s to come.
On Monday, I said goodbye to one of my closest and dearest friends who’s off to England to start an amazing journey in the world of teaching. I said goodbye to my parents back in June as they packed up and landed in Grand Cayman, and at the end of the month I say goodbye to my sister as a Cadenhead as she walks down the aisle to start a life with her fiance. It’s been a lot of goodbyes, and this week I’ve discovered perhaps the hardest is saying goodbye to what has been a rather challenging chapter of my life.
2010 – 2014: The Fast-Track to Adulthood
Standing where I am now, I view 2010 to 2015 as a distinct period that’s coming to a close. At the start of it all, I had been going along as every other 18-year-old my age was, clumsily navigating the transition from adolescence to adulthood and trying to keep up with everything. Then, my best friend committed suicide. It’s a worst nightmare if you have a loved who struggles with their mental health, and nothing in this world can prepare you for that kind of grief, especially at 18. I still struggle with it today – it’s a kind of grief that stays with you and creeps up on you when you least expect it, and for me involves a lot of anger and frustration that’s really hard to work through.
From that moment, the rest of 2010 went down as the worst year of my life to date. My grandfather passed away from cancer a month later, and every little thing that happened that year (from my first minor fender bender to starting college) felt like it was happening under a magnifying glass where every emotion felt ten times bigger and could cripple me at any given moment.
I spent the next three and a half years throwing myself into my schooling and career development. 2010 really acted as a catalyst for adulthood, as I just wanted to distance myself so much from that year and who I was at the time. I wanted to prove to everyone I couldn’t be teared down and I could bounce back from such tragedy and build a life for myself where I didn’t need to depend on anyone. So I did.
I hustled and made sure I got a job within six months of graduation. I worked hard and showed my colleagues they needed me, and moved up the ladder earning a promotion within my first year of employment. When I felt it was time for a change, I sought out a recruiter and landed myself an even better job that I was totally under-qualified for, but took it as just another hurdle to clear in the fast-paced and rewarding path that was my career. Then, it all sort of started to fall apart.
2015: Wait, what?
I was completely unhappy. At first I thought it was the company I ended up at – just felt it wasn’t a good fit for me and that the work didn’t pique my interest as much as I had hoped it would. So I left thinking I was headed to the corporate world with a job opportunity all-but-secured, then it fell through. That’s when another job opportunity came knocking, and I figured if it had presented itself to me maybe there was a reason to pursue it. Nearly three months later, I was jobless and found myself writing on this blog sharing the story of how I got fired.
I know now it was let go because it was so obvious to everyone how unhappy I was, I was simply trying to mask it and trick myself into thinking I could push through it. I wrote about slowing down and taking this time to reflect and figure out my next moves at that point, and how above all I’d choose happiness.
This time has been incredible for that very reason. Having the privilege of taking it nice and easy has been the greatest thing I could have asked for, as it’s allowed me to work through some things that had been taking up space in my brain but were getting neglected.
That said, it’s brought me to a point where I’m very hyperaware of the fact that I’m waving goodbye to those early-20s years where you can get away with a lot of shit and the impact is low. The stakes are getting higher as I approach my 24th birthday. I of course am not kidding myself into thinking the glory days of my 20s are gone – 24 ain’t that old. But I am entering a period where everything around me is changing, and everyone is moving on past a certain kind of lifestyle and trading their retail jobs for careers and nights at the bar for wine, cheese & Netflix with girlfriends (this is an exchange I am completely cool with). We’re all taking life a little more seriously and starting to zero in on what excites us and makes us the most happy.
We’re also trying to figure out how we can turn those passions into careers, and how we can survive in this millennial era where becoming a secure adult isn’t so straightforward. That’s another blog post for another day, but I’m comforted by the fact we’re all in it together and I’m not alone in feeling a bit lost.
2015, 2016 and on: What’s next?
So here I am today, feeling a bit like I did on my high school graduation after a false start to a career that came out of a very difficult time of my life. The difference now, though, is that I have a lot of valuable experience, insight and ideas under my belt and thankfully know a ton of inspirational, incredible and creative people who are all about following your dreams and have been nothing but reassuring that the best is yet to come. And now, to share what’s next!
First things first, this is my last week of unemployment!!!!!!!!!!! This deserves all of those exclamation points because I am not going to sugarcoat it friends – unemployment sucks, and I didn’t even have to job hunt. I was lucky enough to secure a job opportunity the same week I lost my last one, but it wasn’t set to start until August so I’ve been off all of this time without much structure to my days, which isn’t a great thing for me for a long list of reasons. I’m so excited to get back to work and start with Cystic Fibrosis Canada doing social and digital media. I know it will be rewarding, exciting and amazing and am thrilled to be joining their team!
Secondly, this fall I’m going to pursue formal training and education in makeup artistry. This is very huge for me because in this time I’ve been off, I’ve discovered how huge of a passion this is and how much I want to pursue it legitimately. It was the biggest takeaway from my forced sabbatical and I have such a fire in my belly to make it a reality.
With that comes future thoughts and ideas for this blog and ways to make the content even more interesting and valuable for my readers. I’ll be branching out into video, more formal photography and creating and sharing looks and inspiration created by yours truly to really step-up the quality of content and hopefully make this a place you want to visit multiple times a week. I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas on what you want to see in a beauty blog like this you find you don’t get elsewhere – share in the comments if you have any!
I’m saying goodbye to a major chapter, but I’m also saying hello to a brand new and exciting one that right now is a world of possibility. It’s bittersweet, but I’m anxious to dive in. Stay tuned!