“All that glitters isn’t gold.”
That’s the quote I often use when people gush about my current career path. Sure, I get to chitchat with celebrities and have a few millionaires on speed dial, but all I could ever think about was my bank account.
A few weeks ago, I made the bold move to quit my 9-5. It was in a field that had nothing to do with media, PR, or entertainment. I wasn’t rich, but I was on salary, and it was a pretty decent check – on paper. Getting hit with major taxes on paychecks is definitely something you have to get used to, primarily if you’ve always worked hourly and taxes were pretty minimal. Honestly, why I quit is a whole different story, so expect another post on that.
Anyways, back to the topic at hand…
Quitting a secure job was scary, but I knew it was the right thing to do. It was a liberating feeling but also very stressful. Working in entertainment is glamorous, but no one ever tells you that your first few jobs are usually unpaid or stipended very low, where you basically have to get another job to support yourself. The lack of money caused the stress, but that’s where your faith, determination, and organization skills come into play, but again, that’s another post for another day.
After I quit my job, I informed one of the many people I work for about my thought-out career move. It just so happened that a work trip was up for grabs my first week of not being at my old 9-5. I love to travel (hence my other blog section, The Frugal Traveler), so of course, I hopped on the opportunity immediately. The assignment was to go to Arizona and test drive Buick’s latest model to their sport/ lifestyle car lineup. It was intimidating to find out the details after already saying yes to the trip, especially because I don’t know a thing about cars, but just like many other situations, I knew if it scared me, it would be beneficial to me.
Naturally, I assumed there wouldn’t be many people who looked like me on this work trip. When I arrived in Arizona, and to my surprise, three other people shared the same skin complexion, but not gender, and definitely not age. As the first day went on, I noticed I was the youngest person on the trip. I began to notice the awkward stares I would get when I would introduce myself to others. I don’t think it was because of my complexion, but definitely my age. I’m sure the question, “What is this child doing here?” was a prevailing thought for many.
When we arrived at the hotel, I was exhausted by my long travels. Based on the schedule Buick gave us for the trip, I knew I wouldn’t have any real downtime. As soon as I got to my room, I took a nap in preparation for the evening that was sure to be filled with networking opportunities. The first event started at 5 p.m that evening, so I made sure I set my alarm in enough time to wake up and get ready. Somehow, someway, I ended up waking up at 5:50 p.m. Of course, I jumped up at the speed of lightning to get ready for the event I was already an hour late for.
“Great, everyone’s starring and judging,” I thought as I tried to sneak into the fireside tent Buick had set up for us. My entrance became even more obvious, as the only available seat was at the front of the room. “Amazing.”
I took my seat and ordered my food and a glass of wine to shake off my nerves. I looked around to see that I was surrounded by older white men, who couldn’t be any younger than 45. Thankfully, everyone around me was friendly and joked how they wished they overslept too.
At that moment, I realized the power of my current position. Sure, my bank account wasn’t popping, but I was surrounded by some of the countries most influential journalists and GM executives. They didn’t know what my pockets looked like, but only that I sat at the same table as them. That spoke to me. Solange was really on to something with ” A Seat at The Table.”
From that realization, I decided to focus on the moment and not my pockets. Of course, the Black attendants naturally gravitated to each other, and that’s where the treasure of the trip lied. These three, older Black men each held career gems that I needed to hear. One was a Journalist that I happened to fly in from Atlanta with, who had previously worked at some of the hip-hop world’s most prestigious magazines that I often dreamed of having a byline there. He answered so many questions I had that I didn’t feel comfortable asking other journalists I knew in Atlanta.
The second man was a publicist in New York. He was funny and down to earth so asking questions was a breeze. I even had a connection he wanted to invite to one of his NYFW parties, honoring Dapper Dan. Yeah, this guy is the truth.
The third man was a Communications Manager of Diversity at GM. He joined me on my hike as one of the activity supervisors, and after a few hours with our guide in the canyons, we chatted about life, and he ended up offering me his personal discount on a new car. I had to lift my hands in thankfulness to God, because just a week prior, a truck hit my parked car, causing insane damage to my precious Jackie.
My few days in Arizona were confirmation and reassurance for where I am. I don’t ever doubt God’s plan for me, but in times like this, it gets hard to even understand why something is happening in your life. Next time when you’re in a rut, don’t ask why you, but ask what this moment in time is trying to teach you? How is it leading you to your destiny? Stand firmly where you are right now in life and accept all that God is trying to build you up for. Keep your eyes on your end goals and appreciate the lessons you are learning in this season.
Until next time lovelies!