My Story Part II

Like I mentioned in Part I of My Story as soon as I got hooked on blogging in February of 2009, I did everything I could to grow, learn, network and essentially make the most out of this little online endeavor I had discovered. When you start out with a first time blog, it’s literally next to impossible to comprehend and wrap your head around the whole blogosphere that exists out there, along with everything in it like advertising, featured posts, doctoring blog templates to make them your own, followers, and the list goes on. But blogging can be addicting and if you’re like me, you just want to make it work. From the very first blog post I ever wrote introducing my love of desserts to probably a total of two readers, I knew I would do anything to make my blog evolve into and be a major part of a business I’d start and build one day. My plan was to build my little empire on the side and in the meantime work a regular journalism gig. Oh, Rhi.

The problem is I still hadn’t found a job in Chicago and we were almost into April by now. I felt financially restricted on the weekends when Andrew and I would take trips into the city to get out and live life as a young engaged couple but I dreaded having to pull out my bank card. I was cautious of spending my little remaining money on things for him and I, and even for myself but had no problem forking out $13.99 for a tube of two vanilla beans to make a new frosting recipe. And the kicker is I still felt like I owed it to myself to continue pursuing the journalism field and make something of the degree I had worked so hard on for four plus years. I was seeing classmates of mine who had graduated with the same degree but had less experience than me landing dream jobs across the nation. And here I was striking up conversations with news crews on the job downtown, offering them freshly baked cookies in exchange for a business card, trying anything to make that journalism piece fit into the puzzle. But it wasn’t and I was an absolute mess.

One night Andrew and I were getting ready for bed and I started to cry. I told him that this was so far from the new start I had imagined us having, and I had to go home. Like home to my parents in Canada. I started to despise the journalism industry. I was angry at news editors. Angry at the fact that I had been a student athlete and maybe hadn’t of had enough time to invest in the right scholastic and career-driven opportunities at school. I told Andrew that I couldn’t live like this feeling so useless and uninspired and unable to land my dream job or even a part time job at the Walgreens across from our apartment to make a few bucks. You know what I felt the most though? I felt embarrassed. I felt like I let myself down. I felt like my parents were disappointed, like my friends were ashamed, like Andrew, the guy who had proposed to me almost a year earlier was sure he’d made a mistake asking me to spend the rest of my life with him. For a people pleaser like me this was devastating. I packed up my Jetta and drove 14 hours straight home to Toronto, the tears coming in waves throughout my drive. I remember surrendering my Visa at the border and could have sworn the officer shook his head my way as I drove off. I felt like I should have surrendered my engagement ring too.

Moving back in with your parents as a jobless new graduate, pretty confident you picked the wrong major to study for almost five years, and your fiance is living in his own apartment 14 hours away in a different country, leaves little to feel good about internally. You know those stories you read when so and so seems to have it made, they have their you know what together, they have a great job, they have flat stomachs and perfect highlights, the newest it item, the hot husband, the perfect kid, the whatever it is that looks impressive from the outside but you come to learn that so and so just lost her parents within a few months of one another. Or so and so is really sick. Or so and so just makes life seem really awesome when really she’s all alone, confused and empty. Or she’s hurting and scared. That’s how I felt. My life looked good on the outside and I thought that was important because it was what everyone expected. I told everyone that my move back home was simply to reassess my next move and make some big decisions. Which is theory was the truth. But I had nothing together and I needed a serious wake up call. I needed to be honest with me.

Making decisions when you have to use common sense, and instead your heart’s competing for your vote, is the worst. To pass time, and start making some money my sweet Dad offered me a job as a secretarial assistant at his construction business. The work was uninspiring (I love you, Dad!) but it was something to do and it gave me a purpose. And a pay check. The blog on the other hand, was a constant sort of comfort for me at this point and served as an outlet to not only stay creative but real with myself. Getting home after work to bake and blog something new was the highlight of my day. I’d also write about what I was feeling, the next time I’d get to see Andrew, the cupcake orders I was taking, and the plans I had to open my own bakery. I was learning new things with every post, comment, picture, recipe and interaction I took on. I started to make friends and feel connected to people, who I didn’t even know in the flesh but I felt close enough to to call friends. My blog became my rock during those first few months home.

That summer though I had to make another tough decision. So I took another huge risk. More on that in Part III.

25 comments on My Story Part II

  1. Pingback: My Story Part I :: Hey Gorgeous, The Blog

  2. Kris on

    Thanks for sharing your story… I just had a good read at work! It’s great to see where people come from and the obstacles they face, which make them stronger. Can’t wait for the rest of the story :)

  3. Valerie on

    I found myself starting my own business after a few unsatisfying years as a journalist too! I thought I would conquer the magazine world one day, but the day to day to potentially/maybe/one day get there was so uninspiring. My editor called the industry “a sinking ship.” How lucky are we to pursue what we love now and be inspired daily!!

  4. Lauren on

    Thanks for sharing. I’m coming to realize that all of us have those failure / embarrassed / frustrating / life changing moments, usually somewhere in our 20′s. I think it’s how you deal with them that really matters. Returning to my parents house felt like a huge failure for me, but I’m realizing that “coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving”.

  5. I almost cried reading this because THIS is where I am right now!!!! Literally, Rhi, you wrote what I’ve been thinking (and I hope this doesn’t sound cliche). lol. Thank you SO much for posting this and showing me that an awesome woman like yourself was once where I feel like I am some days, and that it won’t always be like this. Wow! I’m so relieved now. ;p haha. Thanks for being such an inspiration and next time I’m home in G-Rap, I may have to meet you in person since I feel like I’ve known you for a year through your blog!

    TheSpunkySapphire.wordpress.com

  6. Hi rhi, I think the best things come from a place of despair and feeling like you have failed at something else…that was me this time last year. And now looking back it was all part of a bigger plan that I had to go through to get where I needed to be.

  7. Kate on

    I am loving your story so far, I can’t wait for part three. Yuo are such an inspiration…so it’s great to hear the backstory and how hard you worked to get where you are. I’m not very fulfilled at my job (despite a great company/coworkers) it’s just not the job (admin asst) for me! So I’m so interested in how you made your dreams into a business! Especially in the wedding field, something VERY interesting to me! :) Can’t wait to read more!

  8. I love reading your blog and about your journey. Your comment about seeing someone with “perfect tan, flat stomach….” cracked me up. I feel like I run into people like this all the time. LOL. Can’t wait to continue reading!

  9. Emma on

    Thanks so much for sharing this Rhi. I have been reading your blog since way before your wedding, and you can tell you put your heart and soul into it.

    I studied photography at university, majoring in commercial studio work. And you know what? I haven’t stepped inside a commercial studio since I graduated. At first I felt like a giant failure, or a total fraud, what on earth was I doing?! But I slowly found my feet, just like you eventually did. It’s funny how life works out. I followed my highschool sweetheart to the country after he graduated (agricultural science) and the rest is history really. I was so creatively exhausted after my final year at uni that I didn’t pick up a camera for six months – and it was the best thing I ever did. Then I started blogging. I fell in love with the community and relationships blogging builds, you can’t buy that.
    All my love from down under xxx

  10. Nicole on

    I’m so proud of you. You have no idea how much this is blessing my life right now. Love you.

  11. Really loving this Rhi. It’s an important all the hardwork and struggles you had to go through to get to where you are today. Wish I could give you a hug and encourage the past Rhi who felt like a failure, when it’s clear you are talented beyond belief!

  12. Carly Totten on

    Rhi, I LOVE your story so far. I was nodding my head throughout this post because I was a journalism major too. I graduated almost two years ago, and I’m still hunting for a job. I love the wedding industry and I love writing. I have little victories in my search (which turn into happy dances!), but I just told my mom this morning that I feel like I will have failed myself if I go into another field entirely. I know there’s a reason why this is happening, but I’d like to know why a little quicker. : ) I can’t wait for part three!!

  13. Karen on

    I love your blog and so glad I found you. Great story and can’t wait to read Part 3.

  14. Lauren on

    I am about to graduate college and right now I am kinda feeling the same way. Not having a job or a direction I want to go into for sure is a complete downer on my last semester at university! I am graduating in Hospitality and hope one day to be in events but not going too well right now. Thanks for sharing your story and giving this soon to be college grad some hope! Cheers!

  15. Josie on

    Waouh! Rhi! I feel like I am you right now 3 years ago I guess. I am working hard to create my blog very soon and share my passions about events and floral design! I’ve realized that what would make me happy is to do what inspires me the most and what gets me fired up! Your story is unique yet common in the sense that so many people go through this phase in their lives. The difference is how they handle it. And you Rhi…you handled it like a pro! Can’t wait to see part III.

  16. ashley on

    i love how honest you are – it’s so brave and i wish there was more of it in the blog world. i definitely relate to the pressure of having the appearance of a perfect life, having it all together, but feeling like things are falling apart behind the scenes. i think it’s really brave of you to move back home and figure things out. i think sometimes we force ourselves to forge ahead even if it’s not what we truly want. we gain so much clarity from taking a step back, collecting our thoughts, and taking a break. can’t wait to read the next installment!

  17. Thank you thank you thank you for sharing this! I am in law school and looking for a job in another state where my (soon to be) fiance lives and it is just depressing. I feel just like you said, everyone else is getting jobs and that the whole world is basically against me. Thank you for letting me know that I’m not the only one!

  18. Thank you for sharing your story, Rhi ! Just like a nice bouquet, I find your words equally inspiring. Although I love all things pretty, I’m nowhere near getting married or even engaged, but your honesty and the bits and pieces of your life and vision for your business that you share with us are what really made me stick to your blog (for quite some time now, although I used to never comment before). I’m amazed by your will to make things happen and although I’m sure that when you moved back to your parents things did not look quite as simple, I really admire you. I love how your story gives me food for thought: I’m 25, I have a job For which I studied 5+ years but I am dreaming everyday that I were doing something else (although I am soooo grateful for a job at a time when so many don’t have one), I feel I have to make something out of my 5+ years of studying law and political sciences but I also feel it’s not me and I’m getting more and more frustrated. I feel there are opportunities somewhere out there but I don’t know yet which ones exactly or how to get there and I feel very scared of any big leap … A little of your vision would help me I’m sure but I guess it will come with time (I hope at least!). And maybe some more inspiration in Part III ? ;D Can’t wait and thanks again for sharing !

  19. Hi Rhiannon,
    I recently found your blog because of Pinterest. I’m a wedding planner too and Canadian. When I first followed your blog I thought, now there is a girl who has everything going for her and she is doing so well in the industry. It is so refreshing to hear your story and your struggles as many of us have gone through the same thing. I too struggled out of university feeling like I wasn’t going to get the dream job or be successful one day. I’m in a great place now after starting my own wedding planning business. I think we all can learn from your story that you really have to take charge of your own life and not rely on others for your success or happiness. I can’t wait to read the rest of your story.
    Take care,
    Laura

  20. Thanks so much for sharing this, Rhi! This is such a familiar story for me too…it reminds me of what my husband and I went through and what I personally felt like too during his residency training in Iowa! But you know what? Had those things not happened in my life, I would NOT have come out a much stronger and more resilient person. God always has the best interest in mind for us. Keep on writing! I love hearing your stories, Rhi!

  21. Jessica on

    I love this story, Rhi! Thanks for sharing. So inspirational, so real. I felt that same way about my blog in the beginning… so connected and sooo hoping for something amazing. I try to remind myself that its suppose to be fun and it is a great creative outlet for me. Not a job and not suppose to be dreadful. Thanks for all the motivation you consistently provide to your readers.

  22. Lexann Maldonado on

    Hi Rhiannon!
    I just wanted to let you know that I am in the exact same point in my life right now. I am a newlywed and have an amazing, hardworking husband who has a respectable job as a police officer. I work at Starbucks (it was supposed to get me through college and I was going to quit afterwards, im still there going on 8 years now!) and graduated a few years ago with a degree in Psychology and had a hard time finding a job as well. i was putting so much pressure on myself to figure out what I wanted to do in life all while planning a wedding. My friend told me to wait until the stress of the wedding was over and pick back up from there. Boy was I glad that I followed her advice! After planning my own wedding and seeing how great it turned out, the light bulb went off…this is exactly what I want to do! I am a very big people pleaser and care too much what people think, so when i started telling people that I found my calling, they were not very supportive. They said things like “what about your degree?” and “there’s no money in that business”, but for the first time I didnt let it get me down. I am still trying to get a start in the business and am having much difficulty since I don’t have prior experience, ( with the exception of my own wedding), but I know that this is my passion and will someday be just as amazing as you! Reading your story sounded just like what I am experiencing and let me know that better days are on their way if I continue to work hard and that I am not alone. I can honestly say that you have been my inspiration and I strive to be as awesome and successful as you :) Thank you for doing what you do and for sharing you story!
    Lexann

  23. Rhi,

    Thank you for sharing your heart with the blogosphere. Ever since I stumbled upon your sweet little blog, I’ve been inspired to pursue my dreams through hard work, passion, and love. Watching Hey Gorg grow has been amazing, I wish you lived in Cali so you could plan my future wedding! However, I’ll continue to follow along and be inspired by your stories and DIY pretties. Keep it up girl! Can’t wait to read Part III.

    xo,
    Elissa
    sparklesandprays.blogspot.com

  24. Marisa on

    This is super inspiring to hear that even you went through times like this. I’m kind of going through similar things right now & it gives me hope to see how far you’ve come after struggles like these. I can’t wait to read more!!

  25. Eve Maria on

    It could be me writing this, as it’s v close to my own story. You’re an inspiration though!

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