I love Jesus Christ, my family, Parks and Rec, Doritos, sweatpants, guitar, Nacho Libre, dreaming about my future wedding, and all things Anthropologie. A cat person but I love my puppy, Woody. Michigan State > Michigan. And also my baby: my 2014 Honda CR-V, Reggie. I’ve always been a rather creative person. I was the kid that excelled in art and music instead of science. I hated science class which is something I got it from my mother. I went through a tomboy period for a couple years but other than that, I’ve always loved fun patterns and colors and anything I can make my own style. I still rearrange my bedroom at least 3 times a year…
Before I graduated high school, the hype was all about where my classmates were going to school or where they were working or basically how they were choosing to spend their “adult” lives post free education. I remember hearing other people’s choices coming to fruition very early in the year, while I was just taking it one day at a time, more focused on getting out than where I was going. As the end of the year grew closer, I needed to meet with my counselor to ensure I was all set for graduation. Before the appointment was over, she asked which colleges I had applied to. She seemed to be disappointed in me when I admitted I hadn’t filled out a single application. I wasn’t proud to admit it either. Honestly, I just didn’t feel right about college. Every time I looked at an app or visited college websites, I felt my stomach drop.
I’m not sure how it is for private school kids or homeschoolers, but I know there’s quite a stigma for kids not going to college in public school. I wasn’t a “bad” student; I had a high GPA and I wasn’t a troublemaker by any means. I think it was assumed that I would go off to college because of my school performance so when I didn’t, I felt like less of a person. I felt like I didn’t measure up to everyone’s perceptions/expectations of me. I wanted to go to college just to say I was doing something instead of always telling people “ohh, I’m just taking a gap-year for now”, something I knew deep down wasn’t really my plan.
My dad offered me a job as his receptionist for the time being. He said there was an opening and since I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, I could work there. I graduated in May, had my party in June, and started for my dad in July. Honestly, I hated it so much. I went home and cried for the first week or so. And I don’t think it was completely because of the job either, I think I felt so embarrassed. Most of my classmates were preparing for their dream college and living their final summer to the best of their abilities as I sat at a front desk, answering phone calls and entering paperwork I didn’t understand.
In my head, it was already too late to become anything. I figured I missed all my opportunities to make something of myself and I wasn’t sure why in the first place. Statistics show that a higher percentage of high school graduates that take a “gap-year” between graduation and high school don’t end up actually going to college. I was discouraged but still prayed about the unknown future right in front of me.
That same summer, my answer arrived. A family friend was starting an organic cotton children’s clothing company from the ground-up and was looking for someone interested in design. I knew way back when that if I was going to pursue higher education, I wanted to do something artistic where I could channel my creativity. I never even considered that I could do all that without a degree. Apparently, it IS attainable to live and thrive in modern society without going to university, a truth I definitely wasn’t taught in school. When the opportunity was introduced to me and I got the job, I knew it was God’s answer that was waiting for me. It was an overwhelming but peaceful choice that I couldn’t pass up.
I didn’t start at Snoots in Cahoots until the following January. I had to teach myself almost everything, using Youtube tutorials and Adobe Illustrator blogs to learn even the most basic design features. I am so blessed to have coworkers and bosses that are patient with me and let me experiment.
I’m still learning new things daily and probably always will be. Every day is an unpredictable adventure. I say unpredictable but not a scary unpredictable, it’s a “let’s see where this goes” type of thing. Danielle and I both have big dreams for Snoots in Cahoots and we hope it grows to something big and God can use us for His glory. Everything we have accomplished so far as an official company has been amazing and it wouldn’t be possible without our friends and family. We are grateful.
I still work for my dad, I grew to love that job also. It took some time but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I am thankful my dad has never given up on me. He always reminds me it’s normal to not have everything figured out and he encourages me to use everything God has given me to create something successful and unique.
I hope you don’t give up on yourself and appreciate the precious gifts you’ve been given. I waited and waited to make any decisions and chose to pray about it as the last resort when I wish I would have turned to the Lord at the very beginning (but hey, that’s how we learn, right?). We all have different, beautiful journeys and comparison is the true thief of joy. Where you are and what you’re dealing with has been specifically chosen for you by the One that created you, purely out of love. Don’t underestimate what God has made you capable of.
Thanks for watching us grow,
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”
– Matthew 16:25 (NIV)
“I’m going to tell you a secret about everyone else’s job: no one knows what they are doing. Deep down, everyone is just faking it until they figure it out. And you will too because you’re awesome…”
– April Ludgate / Parks and Rec
“Okay yes you’re not a kid anymore, but I think you can still play with me.”
– My youngest sister