Far Bigger Things

Sunday, March 29, 2015

This is the unconventional story of how I got my dream internship in New York City this summer.

In honor of Palm Sunday and the journey we partake during this upcoming Holy Week, I thought it would be appropriate to tell the following story. As I've mentioned numerous times, growing up is weird and wonderful and full of surprises and I have been so blessed in my life that I have had as many opportunities as I have. That being said, there have also been many worries and struggles and times where each step ahead was so treacherous and scary. The future was so foggy, I couldn't see two inches in front of me.

What is the relationship between my internship story and Palm Sunday? I have a really special relationship with Jesus (that I don't talk about often, more or less blog about), but I know he is guiding me in my life, particularly on this winding path to adulthood and career-dom. Through a series of divine interventions (call it what you will, but I refuse to believe this was anything other than that), the biggest dream of my entire whole life is coming true, and it was the Holy Spirit that got me there. 

It all started with a tweet from the American Marketing Association.

I was studying and had Twitter opened up on my computer when this Tweet appeared at the top of my feed. I saw it an hour before the meeting, and promptly got up and drove to North Campus to learn more. I called my mom as I walked back to my car post-meeting, and told her I needed to go on the trip. It felt like fate at the time and I'm getting chills on my arms thinking about the enormity of that Tweet.

So I convinced her to let me go, and I spent the next month preparing and getting excited for my second trip to the city of my dreams. In November, I went on the trip, and met some of the loveliest and hardworking New Yorkers & AMA friends at a variety of businesses and agencies. I particularly loved an agency called J. Walter Thompson for their hardworking nature, creative spirit, and professionalism. Besides the networking practice and amazing learning experience at the agencies, the City wild with ambition and dreams was sensual and dramatic. As much as I loved everything I saw and did on the trip, there was an ache in my stomach that as fabulous and realistic as this New York excitement felt, there was always the possibility that the City just wasn't in the cards for me. No matter how hard I worked or studied or interviewed, it just might not work out or maybe it was too fantasized and I wasn't good enough. God had another plan, which I would accept, but it would be really hard. 

That's when I saw it: the sign on the Subway. (I have a feeling the Subway will be like the shower - an amazing place for inspiration). It was a generic Subway sign that had been graffitied to read "please pray." 

So in that very moment, I closed my eyes and said a little internal grace. Prayer is hard, especially when your heart is in knots and your head is full of imagination, but in this very instant I thought of the clearest phrase that was so poignant I scribbled it into my journal: 

I have far bigger things planned for you than you can ever imagine.

Since I was five years old sitting on the floor listening to Broadway records and dreaming about becoming a Rockette, New York was the end goal, the destination, the setting I would become a kick-ass professional woman in. I'm sure you all have a Big Dream, and if you can take a minute and think of that very big dream, that deepest desire in the pit of your heart, that unadulterated, impossible, mind-blowing, earth-shattering, gut-wrenching dream, that dream that gets you up in the morning and you fall asleep thinking about at night: think about it right now. Don't let it go and don't give up on it, because even though that exact goal might not turn out as you had planned, it is in your heart for a reason. I know I'm still young and there will be many more dreams that come my way, and many more New York Cities full of adventure, but the message here is don't give up on your dreams. Listen to them. Read the signs on the Subway. Don't let people talk you out of them or try to instill harsh realities. Listen to God. He speaks to you in all different ways, whether you believe in it or listen to it or not. And of course, listening isn't always enough. He calls us to do our part too: seeking out contacts and updating LinkedIn and going to the Career Center and interviewing and being patient and responding to emails. But the point of this Palm Sunday post is that our lives are miraculously designed and meticulously created by someone who knows us better than we know ourselves. New York just very well might have been created for me. 

I once said that New York City feels like when you have a crush on a boy across the room, but maybe also having a crush on a boy feels like New York City. The point is, New York is a feeling. And feelings are so intwined with our psyche, they are so astounding and unexplainable, they must be otherworldly, divinely created. This particular feeling is an innate part of me, and I'm so excited to be released in the City for more than a weekend. J. Walter Thompson, I am going to work so hard this summer and learn everything I can from you. I promise to keep this wide-eyed excitement and confidence. Thank you for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to live in my Big Dream. And God, thank you for the New York Cities of my life: the motivations, the challenges, the feelings sewn into our psyches, the beauties in the unknown. Thank you for having far bigger things planned, and for encouraging hope in the unwritten. Happy Palm Sunday.

{currently listening to}

"Ain't No Mountain High Enough" - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

my love is alive / 
way down in my heart /
even though we are miles apart /

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