The past two quarters have been comprised of multiple emotions including passion, anxiety, adoration, pressure...basically the same as every other college kid, right? Sure. Let me tell you a little bit about what has happened to me that has tested my patience, faith, passion, creativity and strength. (I know, I know, how traumatic could your life really be?) Well it's a nice story so continue reading if it's worth your time.
In January I received the email granting me the opportunity of a lifetime. I was offered an internship in New York City with one of my favorite designers since I was a small child. I couldn't fathom how blessed I was; jumping around my room and crying tears of joy definitely happened a few times. After email upon email I was getting closer to making this internship official; I was just one email away from the dream...
Later that month I received another email asking if I would be taking the internship for credit, I responded no. As a freshman, the smartest option is to break away from your college and do the job independently. The companies are required to monetarily compensate for work due to labor laws set by New York City. Knowing little about credited internships, I planned on waiting to do something like that until later on in my collegiate career. I receive an email back securing my place as an intern, but only if I was taking it for credit. "I'll see what I can do and immediately get back to you. Thank you again for this opportunity!"
After one month of communication with SCAD's appeals office, they denied me the opportunity of working for credit with this designer. To earn credit, students must be a junior... "This decision is final."
Dreams collapsing is what it felt like. I felt defeated, upset, frustrated and ultimately very angry with SCAD. I allowed myself to cry for fifteen minutes and then immediately got back to work.
I share this story because I feel that the lesson is so important.
(Notice how that is bigger, bolder and italicized, keep reading!)
If you know me, you know that I live and breathe for fashion. I work very, very hard for everything that I'm given and I dream big. I'm aware that success comes to those who work hard and make good decisions. I LOVE it on a different level than I can communicate. But, I've learned from this part of my life that everything doesn't always work out how you want it to, it works out how it's supposed to. I'm so thankful for the courage to go after things I dream of, I will continue to do that. I was taught that one try is never enough. You have to be ready and willing to accept rejection. It CANNOT stunt your growth as an artist, in fact you have to channel it into making yourself better. When I received that news I was heartbroken, but notice how I went straight back to work because I was immediately more determined to make something meaningful come from this life experience. I'm still confident in my abilities as an artist; if anything it's made me even more eager to grow as a fashion designer.
"One will hear no 1000 times before they ever hear the words yes." This my friends is totally true, but what we can do is keep producing fantastic work and continue to achieve the goals we set for ourselves. The Lord blesses those that praise Him in any circumstance.
This summer I will be in stationed in Door County, Wisconsin working and taking time to see family and friends that I've been distant from for months and months. I'm praying for artistic opportunity to arise and planning a few things that I'm going to keep quiet; as I've learned plans can change quickly in this industry. I'm learning that my worth is not defined by my success.
So please remember, never give up. Dreams will be crushed at some point, but allow yourself 15 minutes to cry and then get over it and KEEP GOING! Work hard and try again! "No" doesn't mean never.