Today is a monumental day. 4 years ago today you graduated college with your bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism, one of the most exciting and special days in your life.
Now, it’s been 4 years. Which is crazy, because 4 years is the amount of time you were in college. So now, you’ve been out of college for the same amount of time that you were in college. WILD.
I am so proud of you, Elizabeth. So proud of how much you have grown and how much you have changed, and become who you were meant to be.
4 years of being in the real world, as they call it.
I wish I could have told you how your life would go back then, but that would have ruined the fun of it. You also probably wouldn’t have believed it.
Here is what I wish you could’ve known though.
LIFE IS HARD: One month after graduating college you will move across the entire country by yourself. You will start a job in a town where you know no one and nothing. You will be alone, and sad, and sometimes really upset because you gave up your entire life for this job and no one seems to understand how hard it is, and how alone you feel.
But here is the good news: Life is hard. But you can do hard things. You can, and you will. And you won’t give up, because that’s not who you are. Embrace the hard, embrace the sad days, and then get stronger, and more independent. Recognize that life is hard, because if you do that, you can get through the days. Life sucks sometimes, it really really does, but if you have a goal and a dream, the hard days won’t get in your way.
A PANDEMIC WILL BEGIN 9 MONTHS AFTER YOU MOVE: Ah yes, the COVID-19 Pandemic that no one was prepared for. You’ll be forced to work from home for months on end, but still required to complete your news reporting duties, and be a person that the community can trust and rely on all from your one bedroom apartment.
Some days you will wonder how you will get through it, and when the pandemic will end, if it ever will. If you thought you felt alone and isolated at your new home and new job before the pandemic, just wait a few months.
YOU WILL ADOPT THE CUTEST DOG: Jackson will become the best part of your life. He will need a lot of structure and routine, because he was abandoned and left for dead, which is how he ended up at the shelter. But, with practice, he will become the best dog you ever had, and sometimes the only thing you could count on to make you smile at the end of the day.
YOU WILL ALSO MEET A GREAT GUY NAMED TREVOR: Trevor and you will start dating and you will really enjoy getting to know him, and eventually you will move in together, and then buy a house. You will laugh, smile, cry, and he will become your best friend. The person who you love with all your heart, even through the hard times, which there will be.
YOU WILL MOVE TO WEEKEND ANCHOR AND EVENTUALLY MORNING ANCHOR: Turns out, you will really come to like living and working in Twin Falls, Idaho. And, you will work hard and tell stories that matter to this community. You will see the difference that you make in this community, and you will care so much about it and the people here. Being a journalist is so hard, but to the people that live here, the stories you tell, they mean everything. When you move to the morning show, people in the community will come to know you, and actually enjoy your bubbly personality.
LIFE IS UNPREDICTABLE: I mean, through the COVID pandemic, losing two grandparents and a dog, working every shift possible at the station (besides overnight), working from home, working from the station, training new people, moving to a new house. Life is just messy, and it’s hard, and it’s unpredictable. But you adapt, and you move forward with the circumstances presented to you in the best way you know how.
YOU WILL BECOME A STRONG, INDEPENDENT PERSON: When you moved away from your home, you needed people. You couldn’t make a decision for yourself without other people’s opinions, and you never said no to anything. You believed you weren’t worthy of anything, and you had to prove that you were. You never advocated for yourself and what was best for you, because you just said yes to anything and everything, because you wanted to prove that you were a good journalist, and more than that a good person.
Elizabeth, you are so brave, and so strong, and you don’t need anyone or anything to tell you that you are worthy or good enough. Not your job, or your boyfriend, or your family, or the general public, and especially not social media.
You are worthy and you are enough because you are you. And you will make mistakes and you will mess up and you will cry and you will have hard days.
But none of that makes you less important. You have nothing to prove to anyone. You are the best company in the world, (besides Jackson)
You have to have confidence in yourself and believe that it doesn’t matter what the viewers think about your looks or how you talk or how curly your hair is.
Over the past 4 years, your life will turn upside down and back again, but at the end of the day, you will become strong, brave, and independent.
Elizabeth, it’s been 4 years since you graduated college and if you knew all of this then, you probably never would have taken that cross country drive to move here to Idaho.
Life is about making choices. You make them, and you stick with them, and then you decide what to do next, and you choose to make the best of what happens.
I can’t wait to see what the next 4 years hold for you, because if I know you, Elizabeth, it will be crazy!