Where Do I Go From Here?

Today I ran across Necole Bitchie’s blog and read through about two pages of entries.  A lot of the things she’s experienced hit home for me.  In one post she mentioned how after moving to New York to pursue a career in radio, that after several applications and interviews with “you don’t have enough experience,” she vowed not to send out any more resumes.  For a little over two years, with my esthetics license in tow, I hit the highway in  three states applying and interviewing for jobs in the makeup industry.  One job even had me work their counter for a couple of hours.  Afterwards, I was asked when I could start and told to expect a call the following week.  That call never came.  Like Necole, I had swallowed the pill of rejection every day to where I just couldn’t swallow it any more and decided to put the makeup brushes and lipstick down and call it quits.

The chase for a career left me with many days just sitting in the corner of my room watching TV, movies, and my eyelids more than I cared to.  My cat tried to comfort me by putting aside her own insecurities with affection and laid on my lap.  She helped, but I was getting comfortable in my woe-is-me state of mind.  I just didn’t understand why employers were telling me “you’re hired” one day and the next avoiding my phone calls.  Talk about frustrating.  

Then I got the bright idea, “Maybe it’s Charleston.  The market isn’t big enough here to be a successful Black makeup artist so I need to move back to Atlanta.”  By this time I had landed a PT job at Ulta.  Four months and a job transfer later, I was in Hotlanta.  As soon as I moved, Army Wives called me to be an extra on their show based in Charleston.  Their call was a miracle because it opened up the door for me to get more gigs as an extra since the job transfer with Ulta didn’t work out.  For whatever reason, I never could get in touch with the manager.  Called and went into the location, left my number, but never heard back, so I called my old manager to resign.

As I began to get comfortable (there’s that word again) in the “extra” life — even scored a role in a short film — things started to take a turn in another direction.  The phone stopped ringing, the emails stopped coming through which meant the checks stopped coming as well.  Now what do I do?  I was still bringing in a little over $300 a month on disability from a work-related injury.  It was barely enough to pay my half of the rent.  My parents had to step in and help until I could get back on my feet.  To me it wasn’t fair that they give up their money to support me when it was my decision to leave home and “take a step out on faith” in the first place.  I had taken one of their vehicles to Atlanta as is, now they were paying my rent and putting food on the table and in Kayla’s food dish.

One summer night while in prayer, I had a major breakdown.  I could not understand why “here I am doing everything right but my life is turning out so wrong.”  I was faithfully going to church, I was tithing every time I got a paycheck, I was abstaining from sex…  I felt my life deserved much more happiness and fulfillment.  Why was I back at square one???

Rewind back to January.

I had received a two-book deal.  Because my agent and I at the time mutually agreed to go separate ways, I declined the deal.  As much as I was ready to see my novel in publication, I could not go against what I felt was where God and my vision aligned.

So there I was, on my knees crying out my heart to God.  Was I wrong in declining the book deal?  Should I have stuck with agent?  Should I have stayed on a job that was physically making me sick?  I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong because everything I was doing was no longer working.  That night I slept in such peace.  I “cast all your cares on Me for I careth for you.”  I moved forward.  The following week I went on a three-day fast.  From Mon-Wed I had nothing but fruit and water.  I didn’t go on any social networking sites.  I read my bible, wrote, and worked on a plan.  That Friday, I hopped in the shower around 4pm.  I was in there jamming to Marvin Sapp, feeling empowered that if I kept holding on things would turn out just fine.  When I got out, I looked at my phone and saw I had a missed call, a voicemail, and an email.  The number was not from a number I didn’t recognized, so I checked the message and found it was from an agent I had queried in 2008 but never heard back from.  In January, I finally got a response from this agent.  They realized they never responded and said to send in a synopsis and sample chapters if I was still interested.  Since I knew my relationship with previous agent was coming to an end, I hopped right on it.  In June, I got an email saying they liked the beginning of my story and to submit the full manuscript.  Two weeks later is when the call came through with them wanting to represent me as an author.  I called my parents screaming.  A dream was finally coming true and I had forgotten all about my lost makeup career.

After rejoicing over my new agent — who also happens to represent my favorite author — I got another piece of wonderful news.  My disability was being reinstated to the full amount.  Six months later, I was still waiting to get my due reward.

I say all of that to say, a year later and I am still waiting on part of the money to be released.  I am also still an unpublished author.  I have since moved back in with my parents and, if I’m honest, still have moments where I find myself locked in the dark corners of my own mind.  I’m not working.  Yes, I can blame it on the back pain, the lingering rejection from pursuing a career in makeup/esthetics, but truly I have no real clue what else to do with my life.  All I know is I want to be an author and I just can’t see giving up my life to do anything else.  I’ve worked in a ton of different careers only to find fulfillment lacking.

So for now, I devote my free time (which seems to be 24hrs a day) to working on my second novel.  Nothing else makes sense to me.  With a pen in my hand or a keyboard under my fingertips, nothing else even matters.  The question is, where do I go from here?

More to come…

This is Jewells signing out…

  1. WOW..it's so funny how you think that in the midst of these experiences you feel alone and as if no one can relate but I went through something similar as well as it relates to trying to get my makeup artistry career off the ground. I applied to MAC cosmetics 2009 and didnt make it through to the second interview. So I applied this year in April I believe. I'd been going to the store everyday FAITHFULLY learning new things from the other artists and when my interview came I was SURE that job was mine. At the end of the interview I heard “Congratulations, you've made it through to the 2nd interview.” She told me to be expecting a formal email invitation to come back. A couple of weeks passed and I didnt receive anything so I email her and she said She had not sent the emails out yet but would be sending them out tomorrow. Tomorrow came and I still received nothing so I emailed again and asked if she had gotten a chance to send them out. She then told me that if I did not receive an email it is because they decided to go with another candidate at the time. I emailed her back again a couple of days later asking if she could tell me the area(s) She felt I needed to improve and she never responded LOL But God just showed me that that particular industry is what my destiny holds for me. I still do makeup on the side, it is still something that I have a love for but I had to cool it for a bit. Thank you for sharing and my apologies for being long winded 🙂

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  2. Isn't life so interesting? Thanks for your post! It is so funny how things happen this way. I actually called MAC again about two weeks ago and got the runaround. So I am letting it go. If God showed you that you are to work in this industry, keep believing it. Keep asking, seeking, and knocking and trust that the door will be open. Quite possibly, you could work for yourself, you know. You never know where God is leading… =)

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  3. I can definitely relate… i often want to just throw up my hands and shout what am i doing wrong? then i figure, it is God and i have no rights… His mercy and goodness is what sustains me. some days are definitely harder than others, but life is about learning so i can definitely say… my life is full of lessons right now! 😉

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  4. Oh how His grace and mercy is so sustaining. Lessons, lessons, lessons. And when you think you have the subject all figured out, a new chapter is introduced. I left school because I hated tests. Seems like my life has been full of them anyway. I guess this is what life is all about…the journey. I pray you continue to learn, grow and succeed, Dana!! =)

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