Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What Would Jane Do Turns One – And It's All Thanks to YOU!

23 years and not much has changed in the sense of humor department

A year ago today, I was a few months fresh out of college, living at home, working a part time job and wondering how the heck I was going to jumpstart my life. Not too long after that, I landed an internship with MSR Communications in San Francisco and began a three month commute to and from the city.

It was on these long, solo drives that I began brainstorming what eventually would become What Would Jane Do. Initially, it was simply an idea to keep myself writing, but it didn't take very long until I realized that a blog could also be an ideal self-marketing tool. And so began the adventures of the last year. To say it's been a roller coaster ride is like calling Jane Austen just another English author: UNDERSTATEMENT.

One of the things I love the most about reflection is how it allows you to sit back and better appreciate the experiences you've lived through, the mistakes you've made, the challenges you've overcome and the relationships you've formed. As I catalogue each of these over the past year, I feel so blessed--to the point of almost being overwhelmed with it.

No, Seriously....This One Really Is For You

If you've would've asked me a year ago what I'd be doing, it'd most certainly be different than what has actually happened. That's all part of the living experience though. Surprises come in all shapes and sizes, and we have to be ready to adapt to them at a moment's notice. Back when I started this blog, I noted in my first post something that has made adapting to every surprise worthwhile: 

"I'd like to thank all my friends and colleagues for their unending support and motivation. Without it, the seeds for this blog never would've been planted. Who needs water and sunshine when I have people like you helping me to grow?" 

All that support I received while crafting and launching this blog at it's start has only magnified since then. I've met new friends, connected with old friends and made some amazing connections along the way. Every single person that took the time to offer words of encouragement, praise and even criticism helped me to believe that I was following the right path. I don't even think thank you covers it, but to all of you (you know who you are) who took a chance on a fresh-faced, still-so-much-to-learn, Jane-Austen-obsessed graduate...thank you.

Turn Your Own Dreams Into a Reality 

I know I'm not the only one out there with career aspirations, personal goals and the occasional introspective moment (yes, this post is an example of that). Whether you're still in the thick of your college career, or a new graduate trying to find that "perfect" job, I hope that you can at least take the time to appreciate those who have helped you every step of the way. More often than not, we are inspired and motivated by those around us and we owe it to those influences to show some love, if you will. My own parents and family have done so much for me, and their unwavering support has made the journey that much more enriching. 

If you REALLY want to turn your dreams into a reality, think of every experience as one to be absorbed and acknowledged. In life there is no real finish line and you'll miss out on so many amazing things if you rush through it. Why look back with regret or a 'shoulda-woulda-coulda' mindset when you have the chance NOW to be taking risks and leaping without looking once in awhile. 

Sounds scary, right? I know...I'm still learning to take these words to heart. But if I can do it--being the over-planner, calculated-risk-taker I know I can be--then I have no doubts about your ability. Live a little; you might be surprised at how great it can feel.

Once again, here's to all of you who I celebrate What Would Jane Do's first birthday with today. I raise my teacup to you [no really, look to the right...I'm raising that to YOU] and I look forward to all the adventures that are sure to come over the next year!