In this edition of the Healing Series, we explore Jonnica’s story!
“Jonnica was so shy when she started with us that she was afraid to give new ideas or challenge my thinking and the best day of our working relationship was when Jonnica pushed back on an idea of mine. I do not remember what it was about but I do remember giving her a 👍 and saying ‘you are right.” ~ Karla
When Karla first reached out to me about submitting a story for her blog, I was unsure what kind of story I even had to tell.
As a 22-year-old recent graduate, I don’t have a thrilling career story or major accomplishment to share, nor have I really faced much suffering in my life – at least nothing that I thought could appropriately compare to what many others have had to face, and are currently facing due to the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, etc.
But then I realized that unsureness might actually be a story in itself, especially now that I find myself in what’s likely the most uncertain time in my life so far.
I have never really been sure of myself, especially regarding what I want to do with my life. I think a lot of that comes down to two things – chronic indecisiveness and a lack of self-confidence.
After high school, I chose to attend Wilfrid Laurier University’s Digital Media and Journalism program – what seemed like the only option to combine my passion for (and inability to decide between) photography, video-editing, and social media and writing.
Like many new grads, I spent the last of my time at university online. Although my area of study and remote marketing work for Karla and Zach did pretty much prepare me for finishing my degree remotely, it was the loss of so many once-in-a-lifetime memories I missed out on the most.
In 2021, when I graduated from university alone in my childhood bedroom, it didn’t feel real. How could four years just be over with the closing of my laptop on a random Wednesday? Ever since that moment, life has been a bit of a blur.
With school and assignments out of the way indefinitely, the all-too-familiar feeling of uncertainty had even more chances to fill my head with “what-ifs” and “what-nows.” The stress of not knowing what was next, and not wanting to decide it either, made me doubt myself more than usual.
For as long as I can remember, I have been that quiet, shy girl in the corner hiding from anything that could make someone form an opinion of me. The one who thinks the distant laughs are about them, can’t take a compliment and constantly doubts themself.
I have mostly grown out of the typical fears of ordering food myself or calling strangers on the phone but these feelings still often leave me afraid of speaking up or doing things I really want to do for fear of judgement and failure – like that time in high school when I wanted to make a YouTube channel but worried about what others would think(and look where I could have been now if I had).
This is exactly where I have found myself for the last year or so. Unsure of what to do now, yes, but possibly more afraid of not actually being able to do the things I want to do.
Music has been a huge interest of mine for my whole life and the idea of working within the industry in some capacity – whether it be marketing artists, helping foster fans, sharing my favourite songs, or capturing moments at live shows – truly excites but also frightens me.
A few years back, I did some research and found Humber College’s Graduate Certificate program in Music Business. Immediately this seemed like the perfect opportunity, an accelerated summer semester of classes followed by a work placement but alas, my constant self-doubt had me questioning if I was ready, if it was worth it and whether or not I was even good enough to be in the program.
After completing school online and working remotely, I think I was also afraid that I couldn’t handle a return to early mornings, regimented routines and face-to-face contact. This sent me into a spiral and after much internal debate, and conversations with family and friends, I decided not to attend in May 2022, even though I had applied. Although I went back and forth based on many factors, I know that ultimately, I let my fears win.
However, around this same time, I did something unpredictable.
After struggling with my decision for a while, I decided I needed to step away from my work with Karla and Zach for Stand Up Speak Up to focus on myself. I knew that if I didn’t, I would stay in the cycle of doing what was comfortable, worrying about letting others down and letting my fears keep winning.
With some extra time on my hands, I took some time to relax and destress and then got into doing as much as I could really figure out what it is I want to do. I took some online courses and took a deeper dive into what jobs even exist out there.
But what I believe to be the most important was spending time proving to myself that I don’t have to know all the answers right now and I finally feel like I am okay with that. I don’t have to pick one thing and do it forever, and I don’t have to know every single skill before I get started in the working world.
With a refreshed mindset, I found an 8-week summer job in marketing and events for a non-profit and re-applied to the Music Business program for their new Fall 2022 intake period. In fact, I have even made a friend from the program already, who also decided against attending in the spring. Meant to be? I think so.
So, while I know I will never fully let go of my chronic indecisiveness or my lack of self-confidence, I think I have finally begun to see that when I simply take a chance and trust the process the results are not all bad. In fact, they are usually quite good.
So why share my story? Because even though it was easy for me to feel like I was alone in my feelings of unease and worry, I know that many young people are probably feeling the same way as they complete their education, start their professional careers and begin to figure out who it is they want to be, in these beyond strange times.
My advice to them, and anyone who is reading this, is to be patient with yourself and listen to your instincts but trust the process. What is meant to be will come.
About Me: Jonnica Hill is a Digital Media and Journalism graduate from Waterloo, ON. From 2020 -2022, Jonnica worked alongside the Stand Up Speak Up team, helping with social media, marketing, packaging orders and producing three episodes of our podcast. This coming fall she will be pursuing a Post-Graduate Certificate in Music Business with the hope of combining her love for digital & social media and music. www.jonnicahill.com
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