Coming Face-to-Face With The Girl I Thought I'd Be
written by founder kayla hollatz
Several weeks ago, I volunteered at a blogger charity event here in Minneapolis. I was looking forward to connecting with new creatives in the city all while pitching in for a great cause.
I volunteered a few days leading up to the event and on the first day, I very briefly met the event organizer. She looked like she had walked right out of an editorial photoshoot for a high-end magazine. Her energy was just as beautiful as her wardrobe.
As I caught small glimpses of her throughout the night as she ran from event sets to piles of donated goods, I couldn't help but be taken back to my high school self, thumbing through my collection of 250+ magazines (yes, you read that right), making collages and vision boards, dreaming of one day making it to NYC.
I wanted to write for fashion magazines, model for my own style blog, and show that I had "made it" while confidently embracing how I looked despite the years of bullying I endured for it.
On my drive home from the event prep in full view of the Minneapolis skyline, I started to feel a little ill from what was going on in my head, thoughts like I was supposed to be working in one of those skyscrapers to Wasn't I supposed to move away from Minnesota by now? to Why have I traded my heels for my $10 sneakers? It was all too much.
I'm 23 years old and I'm not who I thought I'd be.
The little voice in my head tries to convince me on occasions like this that I've somehow "failed" my high school self, but I'm finally pulling myself out of that lie.
Sure, I may not have become the fashionista blogging star I thought I'd be by now, but here are some of the things I think my high school self WOULD be proud of:
- I took the risk of becoming a full-time entrepreneur even while having a coveted agency position.
- My dedication to using social media, the tool that was used against me through cyber-bullying, for good by connecting creatives through #createlounge.
- I paid off my student loans at age 22. #likeaboss
- I self-published a poetry collection after telling myself for over 15 years that although I was a writer, I could never be an author. Now I am both.
Maybe you're not who you thought you'd be either.
If there's one thing you take away from this post, it's that you aren't alone in this. You are exactly where you need to be.
KAYLA HOLLATZ, FOUNDER OF #CREATELOUNGE
Kayla Hollatz is a copywriter and social media strategist by trade and a community builder, poet, and storyteller by heart. She founded #createlounge, the first ever Twitter chat for creative bloggers and entrepreneurs, and has grown it into an online movement. She can frequently be found fighting Minnesota winters with a cup of hot chocolate in hand.