From the smallest particles to the largest galaxies, the universe is a web of interconnectedness that binds everything together. When you pursue your life’s purpose, the universe conspires to help you achieve it.
Growing up in a small town in Arkansas, I experienced a culture vastly different from that of a big city. I felt tremendous pressure to follow a predetermined dream that was not my own. Despite my attempts to follow these prescribed paths, they were not leading me toward my true calling. I was constantly being told to stay within the confines of this mindset and to take the safest route by pursuing a simple career.
A few years back, I came across a book that broadened my horizons of knowledge and showed me new possibilities for my life. The book wasn’t simple, like “a list of diverse career options” or “a set of simple steps to transform your life.” Instead, it narrated the story of a boy who ventured out of his comfort zone despite facing opposition from others and took a chance on his instinct. Throughout the book, he embarks on a journey to fulfill his “Personal Legend,” or his life’s purpose.
The concept of the universe conspiring to help us achieve our dreams now is rooted in my everyday life. The idea that the universe is on our side allowed me to follow a path I was uncomfortable on. It encouraged me to trust myself, believe in my abilities, and take risks. Of course, I’ve experienced setbacks and challenges, but they are only obstacles. But through the years, I’ve learned these obstacles are opportunities for growth and learning.
I’m still trying to figure out my legend, but being offered to attend the NMGZ trip to Los Angeles showed me plenty of paths I never even thought of. Meeting with all the companies and organizations showed me a diverse set of career paths. It allowed me to interact with individuals of varying backgrounds, education levels, and lifestyles. Everyone was pursuing a different personal legend. It was very inspiring, and I’m beyond blessed to be able to attend.
As I write this, it is essential to note that the concept of the universe conspiring to help us achieve our dreams does not guarantee success. On the contrary, this trip showed me that we still need to take action and work towards our goals. The universe may provide opportunities, but it is up to us to recognize and seize them.
As public relations students, it is natural for people to think that communication comes easily to us. For the longest time, I thought it was easy to be adept at this skill, but as it turns out, it’s not. Belonging to a very different background than most of my friends at my university, I always leaned on words, primarily written ones, to communicate who I truly was.
When I was growing up, I had a difficult time adjusting to school as I was struggling through the dreaded teenage transformations. As an introvert who was lost, unconfident, and still figuring out how to settle into my skin, communication was even more difficult where I grew up. While discovering who I was and learning how to deconstruct previously known habits, I always struggled with sharing how I imagined the world around me.
Given my experiences as a queer woman striving to change how society views me, I often find myself trapped in the closet of my thoughts. I am unsure how to express myself without being bound by the traditional communication we are all taught while growing up.
However, when words did not come, I often wrestled with my thoughts and my ability to express who I am. While wandering around, I encountered many opportunities, people, and places that allowed me to understand and learn what it means to be a proficient communicator. More importantly, they allowed me to experience it while absorbing it. Although that understanding is still a work in progress, my trip to Los Angeles with the NMGZ community highlights the people and places I found along my journey. Meeting people and traveling is now second nature since I inherit a part of everyone and everything I encounter.
This trip allowed me to visualize the art of communication in an amorphous, abstract, yet powerful multi-dimensional form. Through tears, words, art, dance, music, expressions, or just silence, the trip challenged my way of learning; it allowed me to explore non-traditional ways to communicate; it taught me that who you are, who you surround yourself with, and how you express yourself can be so fluid.
Communication is an infinite realm connected by a community of observers, listeners, and storytellers; the freedom to express myself in ways I could never have imagined changed my outlook on communicating in any setting.
The NMGZ community allowed me to shift my perspective on being a better storyteller in my life and the ever-evolving industry. My story, empathy, and lived experiences are integral parts of who I am, and this trip allowed me to dive deeper and explore those parts of me.