Sunday, 29 January 2012

Self Assessment- Past, Present and Future

When I was a little girl I had the perfect family and what seemed like the perfect life. I was the oldest daughter in a family with four children. My sister was and still is my best friend and my brothers looked up to me. Of course in reality nothing is perfect and so fate stepped in and changed my entire life. My parents divorced when I was 10, we tried family counselling for a while but it didn't really help. The only good thing to come out of that was the counsellor telling me to write down my feelings, essentially to keep a diary. I had always been an avid reader but I think that was when I really discovered I had a love of writing as well. Looking back on old diaries now is hilarious. The things I thought were important, the life or death of every event in childhood, everything seemed so intense.

My sister and I at Easter. I'm the one in blue. My sister, Lindsay, is the one freaking out!

After the divorce my family struggled through a lot of hardships but we were always close and relied on one another to get through the tough times. I also found solace in friends. Some of my best friends today are the people I was best friends with when I was young. I was a very shy child so only those I was really close with saw my crazy side. Once we all became teenagers our interests shifted. I became very interested in music and have held that interest ever since. The place I felt most alive was at a concert. I always thought if I just had a little bit of musical talent I would/should have been a rock star.

When I was done high school I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I'd always pictured myself being successful but had no idea how to get there, or how hard it would be to make it happen. I was always interested in the arts but I didn't see a real future in it. I was no Picasso and I definitely was no Celine Dion. I just wasn't talented enough. The only thing left for me was writing, and luckily with writing the more you practice the better you can become. I loved writing but I was too afraid to apply to courses that might show me I wasn't good enough. I knew I needed a job that was more realistic.

I ended up just applying to a bunch of different programs that I thought I might be interested in. I was accepted into Legal Office Administration. After the first year I knew it wasn't for me, but I finished it anyways. I knew I needed to be able to use some creativity in whatever it was I would end up doing or I would be miserable.

My sister, Lindsay. My best friend (since grade 3) Jolene and I at a formal in high school. Life was so easy then.

My grandfather had always told me that I had a voice and that I should use it. He always encouraged me to do things that scared me. When I told him I was applying to journalism he was so happy and proud. I, of course, was terrified. I was still pretty shy and although I had a healthy interest in current events and had always done well in English at school, I really didn't know if I would be able to pull it off. I fell in love with it after my first week. That program changed my life. I went from a timid, fly on the wall to somebody who daily spoke to people I didn`t know and was constantly putting myself out there. I definitely noticed a change. If I got nothing else out of that course, that was enough. I am no longer deathly shy.

My grandpa and I at my Grade 8 graduation. He always encouraged my dreams. I wish he was still around.

When I graduated from journalism I volunteered for a while at Cable 14 and also wrote some music reviews for View Magazine. There didn`t seem to be too many jobs for people just starting out, as I graduated at the height of the recession and a lot of media companies were laying off hundreds of employees. After a while I decided that I just had to work, so I found a full time job in retail and sort of became trapped in that. After almost four years I decided that this was not at all where I wanted to be.

A few friends from journalism had gone back to school for Public Relations and it sparked my curiosity. I had already gone to college twice, could I go back and would this time be different?  School was never the issue for me. I was okay in school, I liked school. It was the real world, real life that is difficult. This time around I really just need to focus on getting that first job, gaining experience and getting my foot in the door, There's no excuses this time.

Class of 2008. Who would have guessed that only two people in this picture would end up in the journalism industry.

 My family and friends were so supportive of my choice to return to school. They knew I was unhappy and they made my decision much easier. I would probably be living on the street if it wasn't for my mom. She has been there for me through everything and I just hope that when I'm done school (for the final time) that I will make her proud. Public Relations really is my last shot and I'm so glad that I decided to go for it.

I chose PR because it held a lot of promise. I had taken PR courses in journalism and enjoyed them. I also knew there would be a lot of writing involved. The fact that it was only a year long program appealed to me as well. I am anxious to get out in the real world and begin my career. After a lot of wrong turns and some bad choices I finally feel like I'm on the right path.

In one year I hope to have successfully found a junior PR job and will be working very hard to make a name for myself. Life has taught me a lot, especially determination.

In five years I would like to have some kind of standing wherever I am working. I should have learned the ropes and be fairly well established. I might even be thinking about starting a family...maybe.

In ten year it's hard to say what kind of doors will have opened or what paths I will end up going down. I do hope to be successful wherever I am. I will hopefully have made a name for myself in the PR world and done great work for my clients. Maybe I will have found time to work on personal, creative writing.