the olympic games (part 3)
The stadium lights flashed so brightly that they blinded me. The magical atmosphere of the Olympic Games enchanted me with every waking moment of the trip. For me, New York City immediately represented a place where gifted individuals go to showcase their God-given gifts and passions on the highest stage; a place where individuals devote everything to grinding until their wildest dreams become their daily routines; a dream of Heaven on Earth.
During the trip, I decided that upon graduation from my Master’s next year, I would move straight to NYC. I even changed my summer flights so that rather than going to Cali later in the summer, in a few days, I would fly straight from the ATL trip to NYC. Of course my reasoning for this decision was primarily professionally-focused. Admittedly, though, a part of me also felt excited about the new guy in New York too. It felt like God’s bonus to his already great blessing. Would you turn down a Christmas bonus check?
July 5, 2017
I hopped in my sister, Camille’s, passenger seat at the Detroit airport, and she immediately caught me off guard:
“So let me guess: you’re not doing the Master’s anymore and you’re moving straight to New York,” she shot right at me.
I couldn’t believe her. I was offended, for whatever reason. “Of course I’m doing my Master’s! Why wouldn’t I?!” I challenged.
I had arrived in Detroit because I had to move out of Saku’s apartment before flying to ATL and then New York for the summer. Camille’s words were the last thing that I expected to hear after my tragic 6am flight, though.
Later that day, sitting alone on our apartment’s futon, I got lonely. Not just a ‘single’ lonely either; it was much deeper. I felt like I left all of my dreams in New York, and had abandoned them there to rot during my year of grad school. Without pursuing and feeling my dreams with me there in the present, I felt more alone than ever before. Delaying the pursuit of my dreams for a grad program that my heart was not in made part of me feel dead. I had gotten a taste of the glamour of the magnificent Olympic stage, but would be starved of competition for an entire school year.
I decided to make some calls to determine if I was just impulsive and crazy as always. Shoot, I probably was. Forgoing my graduate degree and moving to a new city without a job would be a bold move. Nevertheless, my loved ones supported it for the most part. So bye bye, Michigan, and hello, New York!
At the time, I was in the 3rd month of my year as President of NOiR, a runway fashion org on campus, but my move forced me to immediately resign. I expected the board members to throw backlash at me for abandoning them; instead, something much worse happened: the new President and I went to legal war. In an air-headed lapse of judgement while packing my apartment up, I approved a harmful first action of the new President and by the time I realized what I had approved, it was too late and she had made the move. I had to basically tap into my inner-Harvey Spector from ‘Suits’ to right the wrong. After weeks of strife, my objective was achieved. Unfortunately, though, not with the universally happy ending that I had hoped for; there is now a different President.
I approached the situation professionally, objectively and for the good of the organization, but some of the board thought I was crazy. Our Groupme was awkward for the few weeks that the discussions lasted. This was the first conflict of this new board's year, so it pretty much mortified them. A normal person would've probably felt inner-peace without even cleaning up the mess, especially considering I was leaving the state and heading far away from the college org world.
I, however, am a lunatic. I'm an obsessive compulsive perfectionist, so imperfection can drive me crazy to the point of feeling physical discomfort. Thus, naturally, leaving NOiR in good standing and good hands mattered to me more than it should have. Why couldn’t I just walk away and chill? I understood their feelings of shock, and those feelings helped me to realize that there were actually positives for me to take away from this scandal.
For over a year, I had taken this college fashion organization so seriously that you would’ve thought I was on payroll. I loved being NOiR’s Finance Chair with everything in me. My love for that experience had ignited the passion pulling me to go make it in the global fashion industry. The downside, though, was that I cared much more about NOiR than I probably should have and it showed, in ways that probably annoyed others. But this grand finale act of excessive passion made me think about the fact that, if utilized carefully and strategically, this intense passion represented my ticket into New York’s fashion industry and beyond. It felt like an affirmation that the move to New York was exactly what God wanted for me.
One day soon in New York, I will reach the point where my overly expressive passion creates multi-million dollar benefits for a fashion powerhouse, I thought. This summer’s Olympics will be hard and will break me down to my lowest at points, but I see now that the key is simply being the best me that I can be.
God makes each of us unique with distinctive characteristics. Others may not understand your quirks, but you’d better make sure that you do. Whatever makes you unique serves as your magic ticket to your Olympic gold medals. What's that one factor that will take you to the top?
To be continued...