A Year Ago I Graduated From High School
The hardest, craziest, loneliest, most rewarding year of my life — here goes nothing.
A year ago I graduated from high school. A year ago I was the heart-broken graduate working retail because I refused to go to school, and become an entrepreneur — but had no idea what that was going to look like. A year ago I was following a camera because it was generating money. A year ago I was focused on what my peers thought about me. A year ago I would cry myself to sleep, wondering why I chose the path I did. A year ago I hit an all time low.
A year ago I had no idea what was in store for me. A year ago I couldn't have wished hard enough or dreamed big enough that things would end up the way they did. As I sit here: planning current projects with Pura Vida, travel plans for the next 4 months, meet and mentor budding creatives everyday, am the Indianapolis creative figure for H Influencer Collective, planning large-scale meet-ups, full-time working for myself, and happier than I have felt in years.
It all started the minute I left my first full-time job out of high school. I was the Creative Director at a local retail boutique, wasn't a bad gig, but I was ready to take these tactics to my own Instagram account, I wanted to do collaboration work with companies. So I left all aspects of a steady income and went full force on figuring out what that would look like. Slowly, the collaboration process got going, I was getting free products, putting out more content, and started working freelance for almost every small business in Fishers, I did the dirty (sometime free) work, going to events, meet-ups, doing anything I could to get my name out there but constantly felt pushed back because I was 18. I'm for real with this guys, I promise, you just have to trust me. But as I would slowly learn, that doesn't matter and they don't care.
I'm about to give up. I can't do this, I'm not seeing any progress and no one wants to work with me. I'M GOING TO COLLEGE.
(Enter the biggest 5 month mistake of my life) - I let the views of others determine my own self confidence and what I wanted to do. I wasted 70 minutes everyday Monday-Thursday driving to and from IUPUI's campus. I would do my best to work on anything I could for myself in class, but then felt the pressure to perform well academically for my parents because I made the decision to go to school, so I had to finish the semester.
I was working with yet another small, retail business, in college classes, barely making time for my own work - WELL MADDY, you've put yourself right back where you started, congratulations.
It has been three weeks. I have been out of school, I left my last retail job — three weeks ago. I launched my last and final brand project - Maddy Corbin Promo. Detailed point by point exactly what to expect from me and forced myself to share it with EVERYONE. No turning back now.
Currently my day-to-day: I wake up between 7:00-8:00am, and immediately go to my little black notebook. What are my goals for today? Meetings? Mentorship Sessions? Post/content goals? Grab my cup of coffee and hit the ground running. I go until 1:00-2:00am the next day, then start it all over again. No, I don't live 19. I don't have a solid group of friends, or a best friend. I don't know what it's like to live on my own. No, I don't spend my weekends partying or drinking. Yes, for a long time this was probably the hardest thing to accept. That being an entrepreneur isn't pretty. It's not always about what you want to do, but what you have to do. I don't wake up and have to force myself to work, or groan as I look at my tasks for the day. My work is my passion. Once I started focusing all outside influences and emotions into it, everything changed.
So, whether you're graduating high school, or college, thinking about colleges, or are having to answer to someone when they ask "what are you going to do with your life" sometimes you have no idea, and that is totally okay. The last year of my life was one giant IDK, It was one giant leap, a test run. I had no idea it would go the way it did, but I can tell you right now, this, this is what I was made to do.
Stop waiting for the right time, stop waiting to graduate, for the validation from peers or your parents, stop waiting, there are far greater things out there than you know, just waiting for you to take your leap.