“She is Clothed in Strength and Dignity and laughs without fear of the Future”Proverbs 31:25
Why this verse? Why is this the one I post in my bio? Why do I have it on the back of my Tayla’s Closet sweater??
This verse has stuck with me for so many years. It’s the backbone of my company, and it is why I am now a full-time blogger and the reason why I wasn’t afraid to drop everything to chase my dream.
When I first started this journey, so many people would judge me or question my dream of being in the fashion industry. As I’ve stated many times on my blog and instagram, I have wanted to be part of the fashion industry since FOREVER! It’s always been what I wanted to do. It started off as a childhood dream to become a fashion designer when I was 9. Then it shifted into wanting to become a stylist for fashion shoots, to working for a fashion magazine, to being a photographer for a big name brand. All of these ideas finally began to merge together as I delved into the work of becoming a style blogger, and I figured this was my best option. It gives me a space where I can share my own personal style, take my own photos, construct my own content and write for my own blog: the ideal mix of all of them…It’s the PERFECT job!
Whenever I would bring up my dream job to family, or in conversations when careers were the topic, people would look at me like I was crazy. Then they’d ask the “What’s your back up plan if that doesn’t work” question, and I was not ashamed to quickly respond with…”oh, there is no back up plan, that’s it.” I always feel like when people have a back up plan, they don’t work as hard and aren’t as determined to make the original (dream) plan happen. I don’t think I was ever too concerned about explaining my plan to anyone because trying to explain to someone who already didn’t agree with my mindset was kind of discouraging for me. So I just figured I’d shrug off the conversation and let my future actions be the explanation as to “how” I was going to make this work. I knew fashion was what I was meant to do, and God had a plan so in my own head I carried on and “laughed, without fear of the future.”
I wasn’t worried about the money. Even with tons of school loans and debt, money wasn’t, and still isn’t the biggest worry for me. Remember that saying “YOLO”, “You only live once?” Well yeah, why would I search for jobs, and apply for positions I don’t really want, when I already know what I want to do, and what my dream job is? It’s a waste of time! and for what?? For retirement, and good insurance? nah! It never made sense to me how people could say their dream job was one thing, but they’d go and get a degree in something totally different just to end up working in a field totally and completely unrelated to their dream job just for the benefits. I just couldn’t let that be me!!
Dj Khalid Moment: They doubted how I could make money from blogging and taking outfit pictures. They doubted that I had the skill and the mindset to stick with it. They doubted I was disciplined enough to be my own boss. They doubted I could get to where I am today (and to think this can go so much further).
Whenever I could sense someone was trying to sway me away from pursuing my dream, I would just kinda chuckle to myself and keep going. I knew how dedicated I was to myself and in turn I knew that my future would pay off soon! (She laughs without fear of the future). I knew God had my back, and I knew I didn’t have to explain myself to anyone! I was on the right track….His track.
I’m going to be very honest though. There were many times that I would stray from my goal and second guess myself. Family opinions can be very loud and that can become the most dangerous thing. I would get constant reminders from mom and dad that I had loans to worry about and I “better find a real job if you plan on having decent insurance and retirement funds”. Like why?? Why would I play it safe just for good insurance and a retirement fund. Why am I going to play it safe so that when I’m 70, I can have the good life? That never made sense to me. From the moment we graduate high school and perhaps begin college, we’re supposed to be prepping for the moment we retire? EW.
I vividly remember this one specific day, It was during the first semester of my second year as a photo student. I was outside on a break from photo class and was on the phone with my dad bawling my eyes out. I didn’t want to disappoint him and I knew he wanted me to choose a degree that was going to help me make the most money. I knew he wanted me to choose the best career path and I knew he didn’t think that photo was the best route. I told him that day on the phone that I was thinking of switching to psychology. He seemed to like that idea and even assured me that there were so many options for jobs with a degree in psychology, more so than anything that photo could offer me. I figured he was right and after one more semester in photo, I officially changed my major to Psychology and graduated with a psych degree. Now, 3 years later, here I am using more of my photo skills and zero of my psych degree.
When I graduated with my degree in Psychology, from Lesley University, I felt nothing. Of course I was happy to be out of there and be done with school, but I wasn’t super proud. I didn’t jump for joy and I didn’t even want (or have) a graduation party. There was no pride behind graduating, and it wasn’t long before I felt like it was a huge waste of my time and money. I felt like everyone else who was graduating had a plan, a job lined up and a five year plan with check boxed lists they had created…I didn’t…and I honestly didn’t even care. I should have never strayed from my goal and pursuing my dream. But for two years, I tried to “play it safe” and I regret it more than ever. Fashion was STILL in the back of my mind and now that I was done with school and didn’t have anything else to preoccupy my mind, that was all I thought about. So I started to think, how could I integrate fashion into my day to day life now? (I had started taking outfit pics and posting them on Instagram at this point. Just casually…you have to start somewhere.)
I worked retail for a little bit and I’m so thankful to have had that opportunity because my boss from that job was probably the best ever! Shout out to her for being such a strong Christian woman who inspired me to be the best version of myself every day! She taught me not to take shortcuts and taught me how to be comfortable and talk about my faith (and I don’t even think she knows the influence she’s had on me)! Retail wasn’t the answer though. I of course, was blogging on the side and always continued to take and post outfit photos, but I wasn’t giving my undivided attention to growing my platform, and I learned that a lack of dedication gets you nowhere.
Now, I really didn’t want this to be a super long blog post. I’m not trying to write a whole book or anything lol, so I’ll hurry up and wrap this up.
After a few retail jobs, and a year working at an elementary school (to say I at least TRIED to use my degree in psych), I had enough! I was ready to be my own boss and needed to get started sooner than later. I wasted enough time already working jobs and looking for jobs that allowed me to use my degree and obtain free insurance…not my vibe.
I remember hating my job at the school. Don’t get me wrong, the kids were amazing. They were the highlight of the job and the only reason I stayed for a whole year. It was tough though. Never in my life did I want to work in a school and never in my life did I see myself winding up there. It was a compromise. My family consists mostly of two professions…law enforcement and teachers. When people caught wind that I was looking for more than retail, they all started giving me recommendations for schools that were hiring. Did I take the job so in order to not hurt their feelings? Who even knows. I was good at it though, and the steady paycheck wasn’t all that bad either.
One night, after crying for hours, I decided to open my bible for a little encouragement. All I wanted to do was fulfill my dream, but I knew I couldn’t do this working at a school or working in retail. I knew that things were going to have to change and I was scared. Scared of failure, scared of disappointing my family, scared of not being able to profit and scared of mishearing what I thought God had planned for me. Was I mishearing Him? Was fashion NOT what He wanted for me? Was I missing something??I opened up my bible to a random page, and this is what I opened up to:
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive inheritance form the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”Colossians 3: 23-24
Like if that isn’t God speaking RIGHT TO ME?! That was the night I decided I was going to quit my job and follow my dream full heartedly. There was no doubt that God was sharing his plan for me very clearly. There was no denying that he was going to have my back every step through this journey either. In May, I shared with my 5.5k followers (at the time) that I wanted to reach 6k followers by June 1st. It is now June 11th (when i’m writing this) and I currently have 18.4k followers. Again, there is NO doubt that God is working his plan, and is guiding me every step of the way!
He gave me Proverbs 31:25 first, as an encouragement, and then Colossians 3:23-24 as a reminder. Our God is faithful and so much more in tuned with our life than we give him credit for. I’m excited to see where He takes me next!
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