happy one month birthday to my #SAGrad vulnerability

About one month ago (okay, a little more because the end of this week was hectic) I opened myself up, let myself be vulnerable, and officially checked something special off my bucket list. I wrote my first blog post.

I’m not going to lie– I’m surprised that anyone has read it. Once I had more than a few views (besides me looking at it from different browsers to make sure it was all okay) I realized that someone was looking at it. Someone besides my mom, because I didn’t tell her about it right away. (But she knows now. Hi Mom!)

Want to know what’s crazier? I actually have had more than 100 people visit my blog. I have had over 250 views. That’s the coolest feeling ever, and scariest. Not only was I being real, being raw, and being vulnerable, but people ARE CHOOSING TO READ MY THOUGHTS. Have you caught on to how big of a deal this is yet?!

To be honest, usually when I talk ramble, people tune me out. I am an external processor, especially when it comes to debates or good discussions. For me, it helps to talk it out and build upon my own and other’s ideas. For my classmates, it gets old pretty quick. But here… here people listen. Here people read. Here people chose to listen.

I figured if I’m going to do this, I’m going to give it 110%. Therefore, I’ve been posting my blog on social media to get more views and more opinions. I’m hoping to reach more #SAgrads that may be able to relate. Today I received one of the best compliments ever, from @kayleyrobsham. This is what she said:

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DING DING DING!! How great is it to hear the EXACT compliment that matches your intentions! Wow. This felt great. So naturally, I “favorited” AND “retweeted” it. Yes, both.

I’ve been able to challenge myself. I’ve been able to challenge my thoughts. And I share that all with you, no matter how it is.

This is a good time for an important shoutout: thank you to every #SAGrad that supports, responds, encourages, and engages in conversation. Especially on Twitter, #SAGrad receives a whole lotta love and it makes the world of difference. I cannot stress the importance of having a community, and somehow, I have found a unique one with this group of young professionals. I am constantly amazed by their insight and maturity and willingness to share and take risks. I truly enjoy getting to communicate with other grads that are outside of my cohort and learn about their backgrounds, their opinions, and their stories. Who cares if I find this community on Twitter? I have it. I like it. And that’s what matters.

The biggest and constant fear with this vulnerability is simple: if I speak up, will I still get hired? This fear is consistent between Twitter, my blog, and everyday communication. I feel like I sometimes have to walk on egg shells, not say the wrong thing, and make sure I certainly don’t publicly disagree with something a future employer wouldn’t like. Every action and thought revolves around my fear of not getting hired. To an extent, this is healthy. I want to prove that even before I represent your institution, I represent myself well. I respect my first institution, and my second, and even my third enough to be conscious of what I am saying and how I represent myself. After all, no words whether spoken or posted on the internet can ever be deleted. It never disappears, so chose wisely.

On the opposite side, I want an institution to hire me for me– for my personality and my hard work and my passion and my eagerness to grow– not for what I say in an interview. Sometimes life is just hard. Sometimes you have bad days. Sometimes great things come from struggles or hard times. But have you ever been lead to think a situation or person or environment is going to be one way, and it turns out to be the complete opposite? (Jobs, supervisors, friendships, dates, apartments, food– it really applies to anything) I hope that by being more vulnerable, removing some of the “fluff”, I can learn to look at situations with a more critical lens and others can view me for who I really am and what I truly provide. It’s like the difference between the “nice” friend: who will tell you it will all be okay or that you hair looks nice. VERSES the “real” friend (often perceived as harsh or blunt): who will tell you that this breakup does suck and it will for a while but she’ll be there for you or that you really need to go fix your hair because it’s doing something funky. One is beautiful and static– one is beautiful, real, and raw. When someone hires me, I want them to hire me.

If you are an #SAGrad or future #SAGrad, I hope I can paint a real photo for you. To let you know that you are not alone, or to let you know that (like anything in life) you will have hard days but it is totally worth it. To my future employers: I hope you know you are getting a real person with real challenges but realistic solutions. But especially in this field, if you aren’t willing to challenge yourself or the system or an idea to better yourself and increase your knowledge… are you really going to grow?

Speaking of growing…

This blog has been a great way for me to practice self care while being vulnerable. This blog is something I do for me. Yes, I love talking and sharing. Yes, I HOPE that one day people will read my blog and actually reach out to me on Twitter about a post *cough cough*. But really, this blog is helping me grow a lot. It forces to me work on something for myself. (And if you know me, you know how much I hate having free time. So if I “give” myself work to do, I feel more productive and more content.) It forces me to sit down with my thoughts and get them out, which honestly helps me with my anxiety a lot too. (Puppies also help a lot, but I need to get a job first… so this blog is the second best option.)

I was really enjoying running until I fractured my foot a few weeks ago, was put in a walking boot for a couple weeks, and told I wasn’t allowed to run for a while. Grumble. I liked running because it let me accomplish two things at once: 1) get out any anxiety or frustration physically, and 2) have time to sit in my thoughts and reflect while still being active and doing something else (once again, staying busy and not having free time).

I love noticing changes in my life. When I ran, I enjoyed seeing my Fitbit track my running and knowing I was getting better and stronger. I hope that I will keep up this blog enough that I can go back and read some of my original posts and see the progress I’ve made in my life. How cool would that be?

I guess if I want to see that growth then I have to keep up the blog. Keep up the reflection. Keep up my vulnerability. It’s hard, but the first step to a challenge is accepting that challenge. Grad school isn’t a breeze– life isn’t a breeze– so I hope that by accepting this and being real, I will focus more time and energy on growing myself and pushing myself than pretending my problems don’t exist. You can’t solve a problem until you’re willing to overcome it. And you can’t overcome a problem if you’re not real about it.

This is my last week of my internship, so life is about to get real. August is jam-packed and September will be here before I know it. If you’re ready for a crazy ride, feel free to follow my journey some more. Here or Twitter, @Amanda_Koslow.  It’s about to get real real here.

XOXOXO, amandarae


quote of the day: “I only see my goals, I don’t believe in failure” – 7 Years lyrics by Lukas Graham (this song really gives you the feels, but it’s so good. Wanna listen?)

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