As you all probably know, I graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University in May of this year with my Bachelors in Business Management – Human Resources and my Bachelors in Communication. What some of you might not know, however, is that I was interviewing with a Yoga and Health Resort up in Western Massachusetts since the end of April, before I graduated. It was the perfect entry level job, in an idea area, doing HR at a yoga resort; right up my alley
As a kid, my dad always told me to travel and see the world outside of my immediate circle, which I took to heart and ran with if you have read any of my other blog posts 😉 I have always had the goal to leave Florida and go to live somewhere new. When I originally graduated high school, I wanted to go to the University of North Carolina Charlotte, but finances said otherwise. 4 years later, I closed the pages to the Fort Myers Chapter as I started to see where my new chapter would begin.
What some of you may also not know is that I have had a really rough last 8 months while down at school. Without going into too much detail, I lost friendships and relationships with people that I never imagined I would lose in a way that I never thought I would lose them. Nonetheless, I continued living my life, making more friends, and doing the best I possibly could to make it to the end of the tunnel. I knew there had to be a reason that God pulled the closest people I had out of my life, in a really heartbreaking way, and told myself that it was because I was meant to leave Florida; it was my time, and finding this job at a yoga place was too perfect to be a coincidence. Had I stayed friends with everyone, I would have continued living down there, working a perfect entry level job at a beautiful, sister country club to the one I have worked at for the last two years that I was offered prior to graduating. However, I felt that Fort Myers was no longer my home, and I had faith that there was something better for me. After graduation, I remained in Fort Myers until the end of June. Throughout this time I continued working at the country club and keeping my usual routine, while still interviewing with the resort.
I had a total of 4 different interviews, phone and video, throughout my process, putting me in the final stretch against 1-2 other candidates. Keeping a realist mind, I was still constantly applying to jobs all over the country (literally) just in case I did not get this job up in MA. However, while I was going through the interview process with them, I was doing my research of the area. I was looking up apartments, living costs, more jobs, etc all in Western Mass where I felt I would be living sometime soon. It seemed like the perfect area for me, was pretty centrally located to all of my friends and family in the New England Area, and was in the state that I wanted to be in!
The end of June came, and I moved back home; something I told myself repeatedly I would never do. I told myself I wouldn’t be there that long, and that all I was waiting for was a job offer. Days started to go by and the rejection letters would not stop coming. Letter after letter after letter, day after day after day, I was starting to wonder if my goals were too big. Despite EVERYONE’s advice to just find a job back home to ensure I was doing something with my life and making money, I kept believing that I would make it out. I didn’t want to get a job back home, because I knew if I did, I would be stuck. I knew it would prolong my goal of leaving Florida, and I knew I didn’t want to be living back at home again (no offense to my family, of course, pride is just a really hard pill to swallow sometimes, especially after being on your own for four years). I did odd jobs here and there to keep myself busy and try to make some sort of income, even though it was not enough and wouldn’t last long. Knowing my savings was going to be running out in a matter of time, and the bills were going to keep coming in, I decided I needed to take a trip up to MA to physically see the areas I had spent so much time researching online. I had a lot of people tell me I shouldn’t go because it was more money to shovel out knowing I wasn’t shoveling any back in. However, I did my best to keep the faith.
I booked my flights, booked my hotel in western MA, and reserved my rental car. Next was to get an in-person visit with the resort to try to secure the job. When I called them to inform them of my planned trip to visit, I was told they would not be giving me the job. This was a very hard pill to swallow, and it felt like I had completely wasted the last 3 months of my life putting all my effort into believing this was going to happen because it was the only reason I had to go through so much hurt down in Fort Myers. I had no idea what I was supposed to do with my life for literally the first time ever, and I felt like a complete failure. I was never going to get back out of the house, I was going to be a bum who lived at home forever, and I wasted 4 years of college and a TON in debt for absolutely nothing. Despite my inner planner, I did my best to believe that something was still in store for me. I kept my faith and decided I was still going to take my trip.
I decided instead of staying in my hotel in western MA and driving to central MA (I was looking everywhere at this point), it was smarter to stay central and drive out west. I changed my hotel from western MA to Enfield, CT – a completely different state, however more central and right by the border. I made a 4 page itinerary of what areas to look at, what jobs to check out, and a million apartments I had seen on Zillow so that I was going up with a plan, and that I didn’t just drop $600 to make a trip that would keep me back at square one, where I currently was.
Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.
About a week before I would be leaving, I got an email about a Manager in Training position I applied to at a restaurant in MA. I landed an interview for when I went up there!! That was a much needed email and made me feel a little better about heading up. A few days later, as I was heading to one of my favorite places on Earth, aka Dayspring, for their final summer camp closing, I got a phone call. On the other end of the phone was the General Manager at Russell Speeder’s Car Wash calling about my application for Manager in Training at his location in CT. He wanted to set up an interview!! It was almost like everything was slowly coming into place – I had landed two interviews both near the new hotel I was staying at in CT while I was heading to see my favorite people ❤ As the tears rolled down my face, I continued my drive towards Dayspring feeling like God truly did have my back, my plan was slowly coming into motion, and I was going exactly where I needed to be.
I packed my bags and hopped onto my plane towards Connecticut, unsure of what would happen. Sometimes your faith in the Universe must be stronger than your fear of not getting what you want. My first day there, I had both of my interviews. The GM from the restaurant and I had a pretty good interview, and he told me he would reach out to me soon (spoiler alert: I haven’t heard from him). The GM from the car wash suggested to me that he thought it would be a good idea to have me start in a sales position before trying the MIT position simply because I know absolutely nothing about a car wash, had a great personality and ability to talk to people, and could probably make more money doing sales anyways since you get commission. He told me he wanted to offer me the position right then and there, but that he wanted me to see the position first hand to make sure it’s something I wanted to do before I uprooted my entire life and moved to a completely different state (very much appreciated). On my way home, I had a pretty solid talk with God asking him to let this happen if it was meant to be and that I would do my best to continue trusting him as I have tried oh so hard to do these last 8-10 months.
That night I went back to the hotel to spend the rest of my night looking up apartments in that area with the idea that chances are I was going to accept this sales position. I sent out request after request for tours on Zillow of the places I liked before someone finally answered me back! I set up a tour for after I was done shadowing at the car wash and called it a night. The next day I went back to the car wash and shadowed the girl who was working. In talking to her, I was able to ask what she thought about the job and what her perception was. She had recently moved as well, with a family, and had started working there about a month and a half ago. In my opinion, sometimes the environment you’re in and the people you’re surrounded with is worth a little bit of uncomfortabilty and uncertainty at the end of the day if it saves your mental health versus working a stressful job in a stress-filled environment. Therefore, I accepted the job!!
Now that I had a job secured, I was on my way to look at the one and only apartment that had gotten back to me. I met the landlord, a retired guy who drives a motorcycle and could strike up a conversation like it was nothing, and everything seemed to fall right into place. It was a one bedroom/one bathroom apartment with a fairly big living room, a sitting/dining room, a smaller kitchen perfect for me, myself, and I, and on the second floor with only one tenant below me! We discussed the logistics, he handed me the rental application, and I was on my way back to the hotel fairly certain I would be emailing him the application in just a couple hours. On my way home, I passed a little plaza featuring a pizza and ice cream place, a cute little diner, AND a farmers market open 7 DAYS A WEEK!! Talk about a sign – those are all of my favorite things!! I went home, crunched some numbers to make sure I could afford to live in this completely new place, completely by myself, and filled out and emailed him my application! He calls me later that night to tell me it’s mine!! Therefore, I got an apartment!!
Just two days into my trip, I had secured a job and an apartment and had completely thrown out the 4 page itinerary I spent so much time putting together. At last, I felt like I had a plan and a future. All of the struggles, tears, and fears had paid off, and I would actually be leaving Florida! I spent the rest of my trip checking out the local area, thanking God for finally giving me a win after a thousand losses, and got to spend some time in MA to check out the Volleyball Hall of Fame! I wrapped my trip up, heading back to Florida, telling Windsor Locks, CT that I would be seeing it soon.
On April 28, about a week before I graduated, I wrote down, “The will to leave Florida is really strong and, despite my undying fear of being stuck with no where to go, I’m trying to follow it.”
On July 26, three long months later, I am so excited to announce that I will officially be leaving Florida and heading to Windsor Locks, Connecticut to start this new chapter of my life doing sales at a car wash in the hopes that in 6 months – 1 year we will reevaluate and see if I can make it into the MIT position. Nonetheless, my foot is in the door, I’ll be in the area I’m meant to be in, making *hopefully good* money, and anything is possible after that! I will be leaving on August 17, and hope to see everyone that is interested before then! 🙂 (keep an eye on Facebook since I’ll probably make an event on there)
While I am sad to be leaving Florida, my family, and my friends, it has been very nice to be back home for the last month and spending time with everyone. My mom always told me if given the chance to live by yourself to take it, and I am excited to see what the future has in store for me as I venture into the ‘real world’ officially on my own. Cheers to independence, faith, new experiences, and getting out of your comfort zone!
Mega big thanks to everyone that has personally followed me through this long, testing journey, as well as through all the rough times leading up to that. I know it was hard, but I appreciate you all more than you know ❤