How I Feel After Attending a Networking Event, and What I Aim To Do Better | Reflection #4

Alright. Yep. Let’s just get it out there.

I haven’t been meeting my posting goals and I’m not sorry.

Yup. You heard me right. Not sorry.

Okay. Maybe I am… just a little?

Let me explain. Last week was such a mentally exhausting week for me and this week has been just as bad. Except, somewhat refreshing? Kind of like when you were a kid at your friend’s house and hit that threshold where it’s just past your bedtime but you’re pushing through, feeling somewhat delusional ’cause you just wanna have fun? Yep. I’m here in the midst of that.

I’m slowly starting to realize that this will just be my life. I’ve been in that post-grad slump for a few months, mostly soaking in the fact that the days of lectures, cold classrooms, and white walls are long behind me. Seriously, why is it that almost all the classrooms I’ve experienced in my educational career have little to no windows and way too much white space?

Ahem. Where was I? Oh, yes.

College was rough. School, in general, was hell to go through. Now that I’m done with that part of my life, I’ve been having to really take a look at myself. I used to always look at myself from the exterior, trying to see what others see and completely ignored what was going on inside. I always dreaded going to school. The only motivation that would get me to class was because I had to do it. I was already too invested. Had to get it over with one way or another. In class I’d be mentally exhausted but think less kid-at-party and more drool-on-desk due to complete and utter boredom.

Each semester, there was always that one class that was just dreadful. My motivation? That degree. Something about it just made things feel real. Like, yeah, I’m an adult. What of it? It was that seal of approval, you did it. Even though I hated almost all of it, I did it. The last two years of school were mostly discussion-based classes, which I loved. When I’m in my comfort zone, I love to talk. Makes sense as to why I favored courses about rhetoric and feminism over anything else. I like to think what I have to say is pretty insightful, so long I’m in my zone. Typically takes a little while but boy, when I get there…

Right now, I’m doing something partly because I have to but also to feed what I want to do. Which is to be working full-time as a developmental editor. Since I want to do it successfully, it’s going to take some time to get there. Remember what I said about being in my zone? When I get there, you guys. I know I will succeed at it. In the meantime, I’ve got to do lots of reading, even more networking, and so much caffeine that I don’t even think I’m ready for. Maybe I should start drinking tea instead? Joking! Black teas are weak compared to my Cuban coffee.

What keeps my anxiety at bay (somewhat) is that this year will be the year of building up my portfolio to freelance as a dev editor. I’m taking this year to absorb as much as possible and meet as many people as possible. Even if I geek out a bit. Maybe geek out a lot. I just love literature, you guys and being able to be around what you love is exhilarating. As a kid, I always told myself that whatever career I picked, I wanted to be able to wake up every day and be happy doing it. Reading manuscripts, surrounding myself with creatives and being apart of the publishing process is exactly where I want to be. Where I need to be. I’m getting to my zone. Not there quite yet, but I’m getting there.

Today, I went to a literary event. Nothing at all about what I was thinking it would be, but it was amazing. I went with my boyfriend and he created a game plan for me. I swear he’s my biggest cheerleader, I love him. We agreed on not leaving the event without talking to at least two people. Which may not seem like a lot, but mind you, I had the mindset that I was just going to scope and take a little look. Get to know the vibe. This was my first literary event. It would have been LitCrawl back in September but silly little me forgot to take two factors into consideration that night: 1.) Seattle traffic and 2.) Seattle traffic in the rain. So that never happened. Which was fine. But I knew I didn’t want to miss today. I was even a little hesitant. Sometimes when it comes to my anxiety, I always need just enough of a push to break the ice and then I take the wheel. The same thing happened when I started taking the ferry, the first time I was more than nervous. I even called the Washington State Department of Transportation to get reassurance that everything was okay and now, it’s like second nature. Almost. We’re getting there.

At the event, I talked to three! Technically four people. Which is huge for me. I’m an introvert but maybe the most sociable introvert you’ve met. Which makes for awkward encounters along the way.

I’m a huge believer that people come into your life at certain times in your life to show you a part of yourself. One of the ladies I met happened to be a previous intern at the agency I’m freelancing for, what a small world! I also maybe even made a friend? I think I made a friend, you guys. There was a point where we broke up into groups to hear theme-specific panelists who may peak our interest. They had one for writers, another for money, and the one I went to had to do with the industry. Which turned out to be incredibly informative, by the way! I ended up chatting it up with this girl and even got her email along with an agreement for a future coffee date. Which seems so adult-ish. I dunno, it’s just cool being in a different space. I also made sure to connect with one of the panelists, another hopeful future coffee date to look forward to planning! Networking maybe isn’t so bad in a city like Seattle. I will say, there are a few things I would like to do differently the next event I go to, like talk to all the panelists and have a question ready to ask said panelist prior to approaching them instead of geeking out and getting nervous about the line behind you that has quickly formed in a matter of seconds. Also, a card. I need a business card. Either way, I’m glad I went to today’s event, even if it was for a short time. I knew I had to break the ice and going to this even just did the trick! Having been in my post-grad slump, I was trying to prolong it as much as possible. Past the move. Past the holidays. Because I was scared but now I’m hopeful! Something like just going to this event really helped lift my spirits and stay motivated.

My post-grad slump stops here. Technically it ended somewhere in January, but today, marks the day that I will keep working towards what I want.

So what is this months goal? Read as many books on dev editing. Read as many books in general. Work on more manuscripts and absorb as much as possible.

February will be interesting, we’ve got Valentine’s day *wink wink* and I’ll be having family visit towards the end of the month. I’m also trying to figure out how to be a proper adult, manage my money and time, pay the bills. Fun stuff no one cares about but is too true to ignore. At least we won’t be ignoring that here. Tomorrow after work I’m going to plan out my month in my bullet journal, work on a few projects for my freelance job, and use more self-care methods in my day-to-day. Today was a long day, but so will tomorrow and more than likely, so will the next. As long as I make sure to wake up early, practice yoga and meditate consistently, and stay as organized as possible, I’ll be okay. Staying organized, for me, works from the inside out. And sometimes vice-versa. So long as I keep some sort of organization, things will be on a steady climb upwards.

Before I go, I want to tell you what helped cause this change in mindset. It’s not just the fact that it’s a new year, for some reason goals for me don’t really work out like that. Yoga and meditation have truly transformed me. Like I said, I organize from the inside out. Following TRUE – 30 Day Yoga for the month of January and meditating each night since early December has truly helped me make space for what matters. Which at the end of the day, it’s me. I matter. You matter, too. We matter and we deserve to follow our dreams. I really think yoga and meditation will help you do that. This month, I intend to follow Adriene’s February playlist and I’m excited to see where the next few months take me. I hope you will join me on that journey!

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