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I know it’s eight days into the new year, but, Happy New Year!

2011 was a shaky rollercoaster ride for me–a year of ups and downs. Like everyone else, the beginning of 2011 had such promise to be a great year, and it started out that way. I was hopeful, excited, dreamy, anxious. I spent two weeks traveling around Turkey–Cappadocia, Antalya, Olympus, Sirince, and finally Istanbul–I graduated at the end of May, and moved to what I thought was going to be my Mecca–Atlanta.

Naively optimistic, I anticipated on landing my dream job within the first month of living there, but the great recession (that I tried so hard not to succumb to) had other plans. Not to sound like an egotistical snob, but I have a great resume, and gosh darnit, I have a masters. A well-educated, smart, and talented young professional is not supposed to have a hard time finding a job.

I received a rude wake-up call.

So after three months of running into brick walls and faltering job leads, broke and unable to financially support myself, the only thing that made sense was to move back to Texas into my parents’ home.

I had hit rock bottom.

But the ten-hour drive allowed me to think. There’s something about getting out on the open freeway, jamming and singing loudly to the radio, seeing the beauty that is America, that gives one a sense of freedom and clarity. On my drive further South, I knew I’d have peace of mind (knowing that I’d have a roof over my head and an abundance of food to eat). Forget that I’m a grown woman who moved out of my parents’ house in the mid 90s and have been an independent woman for more than fifteen years. I had (have) a support system in my parents.

Within a month of being home, the phone calls came rolling in. I started lining up interviews. Granted they were not for my dream job that paid my dream salary, but the positions would have allowed me to utilize my degrees, talents, and skills, and afforded me the ability to support myself. But the positions went to other candidates. What seemed like my new beginning quickly folded and before I knew it, I was having to start all over… AGAIN!

Rock bottom number two.

I slipped into a mild depression. I began to question God and my purpose. My faith dangled on a lifeless thread, and I sulked in my own pity. I was angry, pissed. I had given up. This lasted an entire month.

As I confided in my real friends and family and continued to pray, that clarity that I had gained while driving the interstate 2 months prior resurfaced. I began to write more. I began reaching out, forming new professional contacts.

I’m proud to write that I have found my purpose. I have a new attitude and before 2012 rang in, I had already decided not to settle for less than. I know my talents, know what I excel in, and know what I have to offer.

For months, everyone who I’d come in contact with repeated these dreadful phrases: (1) Everything happens for a reason. (2) Your time is coming. (3) Enjoy your free time. (4) Trust in God, put Him first, and He will lead your path. (5) God does not make mistakes. (6) Just be patient.

Even though I knew their intentions were good, I hated hearing it. In fact, it infuriated me. But you know what? They were absolutely right! I may not be gainfully employed, yet. But I have figured out that if no one will give me a job, then I’ll just have to create my own. Create my own destiny. And that’s just what I did.

The beginning of my empire is in its baby stage, and I’m so excited about what the future will bring!