At a young age, we are inspired for what we want to be when we "grow up," we want to be Hannah Montana or a FireFighter. Some of us even want to be a dog. Each year it changes, and we are introduced to new things that make us find our passion. I watched my mom teach, and I thought that was what I wanted to do, spending my free time grading my doll's papers and reading to them. Then, starting to babysit to get more experience with kids, and everyone said I would make a great teacher. Every way I moved, it was in the direction of teaching. Then I entered High School, found other things that piqued my interest more, and wondered if education was what I wanted.
It was time to pick a major, and I decided on communications and social influence. WOW! This would be the perfect fit for me. I soon came to the realization it was not, and I found myself in advertising. It was an instant connection, I took my Intro to Advertising class, and it felt like I was supposed to be there. I found that copywriting was what I really enjoyed. Every project let me explore my creativity with each tagline I wrote. I felt joy and had the sense that I was good at something. I kept thinking about how I would have a super cool and creative job, like advertising for Target or a clothing company. When spring semester was approaching, I was determined to get an internship to help lead me toward what I wanted to do with my life.
After applying to what felt like a thousand internships, I finally accepted an offer at ERPHealth, which is an outcome-tracking platform to deliver measurement-based care for behavioral health. I am a social media intern. I am tasked with planning social posts and data analytics. Then, I started making graphics for our social media and suddenly felt challenged with everything I did. Having a meeting with my boss and hearing constructive feedback was a bit unpleasant. But, I took that feeling and used it as a learning opportunity for my work, to investigate the recovery industry and everything about behavioral healthcare.
Suddenly, I found that I was interested in healthcare advertising! Knowing we are on the right side of making a difference. Hearing stories of my co-worker's struggles with addiction, where they are now, and how many lives we are changing. Four weeks ago, if you had asked me if I wanted to stay in this field, I would have cried and begged to go anywhere else. Now I am adding another day and staying for the summer. It is not just the product that makes me proud to work there. It is the people!
I never thought this was where I would be, and this might not be where I will be in the future, but right now, this is what I want. Change is scary, but we need to stay open to opportunities to grow and fully form into people. Little me might be in shock about where I am, but I know she will be proud and that all I want is to be proud of my work.