There was a time in my life when I really thought I had it all figured out. I knew where I wanted to go to college (didn’t end up there), who I wanted to marry (didn’t marry him), and how many kids I planned on having (not so sure I even want kids anymore). Those are pretty major, fundamental things to be “sure” of, so coming to terms with the fact that those things were not happening admittedly threw me for a loop.
I majored in Print Journalism & minored in English in college, so I had big plans for working as an editorial assistant for a magazine in New York City when I got out of school. I applied for job after job and was rejected more times than I can count. It started to get to the point where I was actually relieved to see a rejection email in my inbox, rather than being straight up ignored. At least it provided a sense of closure and was a concrete answer, albeit not the answer I was hoping for.
Being continuously rejected sucks. There’s no way to sugarcoat that. I’ve always been a glass half-full kind of person, but after a while I couldn’t fake positivity anymore. At the time I was working a part-time job in retail and while the discounts on designer clothes were certainly a perk, I needed to do something more stable so I could afford to move out of my parents’ house and start a new life for myself.
My dad set me up with a job in a corporate office in the finance department. It was the complete opposite of what I wanted to do, but I took it because it paid well and I knew it would only be temporary. I was unhappy in the job, but I tried to just embrace it and learn as much as I possibly could.
Before I knew it, my job title was “Treasury Analyst” and I was managing cash flow, forecasting budgets, and speaking in a lingo that had been completely foreign to me prior to working in my role. While I still knew for sure this was not what I wanted for my life, it gave me a renewed sense of confidence.
The good thing about my job was that it was strictly 9-5, so I had time to myself every day to pursue my hobbies. I had developed an affinity for makeup and beauty shortly after college, and I began filling up my evenings watching YouTube beauty tutorials and reading product reviews on blogs. I started setting money aside from my paychecks to try out products and started reviewing them myself, on my own newly created blog. What surprised me most was how vast the online beauty community was. I was making so many “friends” online who shared my same interests & passions. It quickly became my creative outlet and what I looked forward to most after a day of looking at numbers and Excel spreadsheets.
I moved to Hoboken in 2011 after establishing a social media presence under the guise of “The Bloginista”, also the name of my blog, and realized there were tons of women in the community who had their own blogs and businesses. I met pretty much all of my friends in town through social media initially, and once we met in person it was like we had been friends forever. Being around other women who were equally as passionate and excited about their careers and side projects motivated me to work even harder.
Feeling unfulfilled in my every day job was starting to take a toll again, however, after being in the role for a lot longer than I had anticipated. While blogging and beauty and my friends were all great distractions, it’s hard to stay motivated when you dread going to work every day. I started to feel drained all the time. I wasn’t leading a healthy, active lifestyle. I had hormonal/cystic acne which seemed to be getting worse by the month. My self-esteem took a huge hit once again, which I didn’t really admit to anyone because I thought they’d think I was weak.
A year ago my boyfriend of six years proposed to me, and it was the best thing that happened to me in more ways than one. Of course I was thrilled to be marrying the love of my life, but it made me snap out of my funk and realize I needed to take better care of myself, both physically and mentally. It was exactly the wakeup call I needed to remember how worth it I am. I’m lucky enough to have someone in my life who already knew that, but knowing it and believing it for myself was a whole ‘nother story.
I found a dermatologist I love, I started working out again, and I even got a new job working as a social media manager a few months after our engagement. It’s amazing (and a little crazy) to see the power of positive thinking and knowing your own worth. In the last few months I’ve felt better about myself than ever. I’m working on getting stronger physically and doing things with Vanessa, my trainer, that I never would have tried on my own. I’m taking a variety of classes at WiO to supplement my personal sessions and the positive, group environment does wonders for my mind.
I started out by telling you there was a time that I thought I had things all figured out but realized I didn’t. I’m not going to end this by saying “now I have everything all figured out!” because I don’t, and that would be a lie. I think having it all figured out would be really boring, actually. I’m on a constant journey to learn, grow, and be a better person. I can only do those things if I love myself and treat myself the way I would encourage any of my friends to treat themselves.
I will end this with my favorite lyric ever, because it’s my life motto and really does define who I am and what I try to live every day: “Get your joy.” It’s a simple statement but it’s so powerful. Happiness doesn’t just come to you, you have to figure out what and who makes you happy, and you have to go and get it.
Alexandra, aka The Bloginista, resides in Hoboken, NJ and balances her corporate career with her love of all things beauty related. Her blog is not just about the makeup you put on your face or the clothes you dress your body in; Alexandra believes it’s about the confidence you radiate when you look and feel your best. Visit her at TheBloginista.com or catch her in a Work it Out class!