I’ve lived in New York for almost nine months now. It’s a little difficult to find a place to start when I think how much my life has changed since then.
I’d like to say I’ve learned a lot about life and love in the city, but really I’ve just found that I’m still in the flux of figuring myself out. I would love this blog to be about how I’ve developed into a strong, independent, working woman and inspire you all. A woman who is on her way to changing the face of journalism, one data viz project at a time. But I’m not quiet there.
I know at home in South Carolina there are a lot of people, friends and acquaintances, who are impressed with my life in NYC. “I’m so jealous of your Snapchats, Instagram, etc,” are some things I hear pretty often. But the truth is, I am no hero.
I’m making mistakes daily, and am awkwardly tripping over my own feet on my rush to class every single morning (because I am always late).
But I can tell you all that I’m discovering exactly the woman I want to be. In a few ways.
One is in my work, of course. I’m surrounded everyday by talented and driven women and men. It’s refreshing to be a part of program (as unbearably tough as it can be at times) full of individuals so creative, innovative, and dedicated. I’m occasionally approached by others about my work ethic, but really it is all of them who inspire me. Gradually I’m learning to become more confident in my work, and become a leader. And one day I will be.
Another is in my character. I want to be a woman that others can look up to, one respectful of myself and of others. I’ve seen, and in the past have regrettably been a part of, catty attacks on other women. At times it seems natural, but it’s not necessary. I’m in an environment now where women lift each other up more often than put each other down. We’re often undervalued enough as a gender, so it makes no sense to me to undervalue each other when we all have so much to offer. I never want my presence among other women to send a message like “you can’t do this” or “you’re not better than me.” I want that message to communicate “you can do anything.”
The last thing I’m learning is to value myself as a single individual. Past relationships have made weary and weak, but I’m beginning to discover that it’s okay to still be finding myself, solo. Within this concept I’ve found acceptance and forgiveness for those relationships, because it’s all part of the learning process. It seems silly to hold a grudge against someone you once told “I love you” to. Though you and said person may not understand each other at this stage of life, it doesn’t mean that experience wasn’t once a major part of your past. A part of making you, you. I think it takes more strength to forgive, than to resent.
And that brings me to my real final lesson. Strength. Though I may not be 100 percent strong right at this moment, I’m getting there, gradually.
I hope to write the “How I became a kickass leading woman in the journalism industry” blog for you guys one day, but for now you’ll have to deal with the “Hey I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m working on it” post.