My Journey With Odyssey Has Come To An End, But My Future Is Just Beginning

My Journey With Odyssey Has Come To An End, But My Future Is Just Beginning

Odyssey was the first place in my college career where someone took a chance on me, where someone saw something in me that I didn't even see in myself at the time.

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I knew this day would come eventually, but I never anticipated how I would feel when it finally happened.

After nearly three years with Odyssey, spending time as a Creator, Contributing Editor, Editor-in-Chief, President and Intern launching and working with somewhere close to 60-70 communities, this chapter in my life has come to a close.

And I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sad about it.

But I'd also be lying if I said I wasn't excited about how I can use everything Odyssey taught me in my next chapter working in ministry.

See, three years ago my dream was to become a Content Strategist at Odyssey HQ. It was my dream, and I was determined to do anything in order to get there.

Then, another door opened that I never anticipated. To work in ministry, introducing people of all ages to Jesus for a living at one of the biggest churches in the country. I felt uncomfortable at first, and I kept telling God that I was supposed to be a Content Strategist--that was my dream.

But I had this undeniable feeling that ministry was where I was supposed to be, so that's where I'm going.

It makes me sad to let go of something that has been a part of my life for so long, something that has told me I belong when the rest of the world hasn't.

Something that gave me friends and a second family all over the country.

Something that gave me a platform to tell me my voice was important and that I mattered.

A place where creativity and open-minds were not only welcomed but encouraged.

A place where the employees are some of the most incredible people I have ever met.

Odyssey was the first place in my college career where someone took a chance on me, where someone saw something in me that I didn't even see in myself at the time.

Odyssey is the reason I was able to walk into multiple interviews for a ministry job and feel confident in myself that I could do this, even though my background is solely in media.

This platform is so much more than people give it credit for. It's not just about the girl writing an open letter to her ex-boyfriend.

It's about people sharing their voice, gaining confidence that it matters. Gaining confidence that they matter.

Now, this wouldn't be a proper farewell, though, without breaking the golden rule of writing articles: keep them specific enough that they replicate your experience, but broad enough for others to relate. (Sorry, Byron, I'm breaking the rules on this one.)

To my very first Managing Editor, Shelby, I can't thank you enough for placing confidence in me to launch Aspiring Journalism Professionals (AJP) two years ago. You had more faith in me than I did at that point in time, and I cannot express how much your confidence in me meant then and now.

To Justina, thank you for inspiring me both professionally and personally. When I felt inadequate as a leader, you helped build me up, and I am so grateful for that.

To Kellie, thank you for believing in me to be Odyssey's remote intern long-term for the past 14 months. I know there were tons of other people who also deserved this opportunity, and you helped me get started in this role.

To Emma, thank you for being the best manager ever and laughing at my crazy stories on our calls. Thanks for helping me when I needed guidance on how to keep my communities moving forward and for always being there for me.

To Hollan, you boosted my confidence as a leader so much in the last six months. When I doubted my leadership, you were right there to build me up, and when I wasn't where I wanted to be with my community, you reminded me how much progress had already been made.

To Byron, you're the MVP because you've put up with my constant questions for longer than anyone else, so MAJOR props to you for that. Second, thanks for always being willing to spend time with me helping me improve as an editor. Thanks to you, I can come up with some pretty good headlines pretty quickly, and before, well, my headlines were just flat. You've improved my editing skills so much, I'll always love editing thanks to you.

To Mike and TyLy, thanks for helping me learn how to create amazing and intriguing news pieces Odyssey-style. My portfolio has you two to thank for that!

To literally everyone at HQ: thank you for always making me feel included as an Intern. I know we all have good and bad days, but you even made my bad days, good ones.

To all of my EICs: You all know I'm always a text away. Even though I no longer manage you guys, I am very proud of everything you've accomplished and your persistence. (Remember, success doesn't come overnight, but with hard work, you'll hit those goals!)

Finally, to AJP: I don't know what I would have done these past two years without you guys. We've come so far as a team, and I couldn't be more proud of everything we have done as a non-traditional community. From not even existing two years ago to becoming a top 25 community, it's so unreal to me. Incredible doesn't even begin to describe you guys.

And, to make an already long article longer, thank you, Odyssey.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

From the bottom of my heart, I am so beyond grateful for this company and everything you have all invested in me. I'm the luckiest girl in the world to have such an incredible team of people standing behind me.

So while I can't predict where we will all be 10 years from now, I can predict that wherever you all are, it's going to be incredible.

See, this isn't the end...it's the beginning.

It's the beginning of Odyssey helping me launch a career that is so much bigger than I ever could have imagined.

Next time I'm in New York, you better bet I'll be paying a visit to the company that built me.

Farewell, for now, Odyssey. Thanks for everything.

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44 Lyrics For When You Need An Instagram Caption

Your caption is just as important as the filter.
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Choosing the caption for your Instagram can be almost as challenging as deciding on a filter. So, if you’re ready to post that Insta, but don’t know what to say, here are 44 lyrics for when you need an Instagram caption.

1. “Be young, be dope, be proud.” - Lana Del Rey, "American"

2. “I can’t really see another squad tryna cross us.” - Drake, "No Tellin’"

3. “Darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream.” - Taylor Swift, "Blank Space"

4. “I’m throwin' shade like it’s sunny.” - Nicki Minaj, "Want Some More"

5. “I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn't exist.” - Sia, "Chandelier"

6. “Find me where the wild things are.” - Alessia Cara, "Wild Things"

7. “If I was you, I'd wanna be me too.” - Meghan Trainor, "Me Too"

8. “Sweet like candy to my soul, sweet you rock and sweet you roll.” - Dave Matthews Band, "Crash Into Me"

9. “I swear this life is like the sweetest thing I’ve ever known.” - Drake, "Over"

10. “I hope you never lose your sense of wonder.” - Lee Ann Womack, "I Hope You Dance"

11. “But if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing’s changed at all? - Bastille, "Pompeii"

12. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” - John Lennon, "Imagine"

13. “You can’t choose what stays and what fades away.” - Florence + The Machine, "No Light, No Light"

14. “She acts like summer and walks like rain.” - Train, "Drops of Jupiter

15. “She’s a good girl, loves her mama. Loves Jesus, and America too.” - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, "Free Fallin’"

16. “Lights will guide you home, and ignite your bones.” - Coldplay, "Fix You"

17. “Say you’ll remember me.” - Taylor Swift, "Wildest Dreams"

18. I’ve got thick skin and an elastic heart.” - Sia, "Elastic Heart"

19. “Give me the beat boys and free my soul.” - Uncle Kracker, "Drift Away"

20. “One of these days the clocks will stop, and time won’t mean a thing.” - Foo Fighters, "These Days"

21. “Sunshine mixed with a little hurricane.” - Brad Paisley, Perfect Storm

22. “You are the piece of me I wish I didn’t need.” Zedd feat. The Foxes, "Clarity"

23. “Her mind is Tiffany twisted, she’s got the Mercedes bends.” - The Eagles, "Hotel California"

24. “Life imitates art.” - Lana Del Rey, "Gods And Monsters"

25. “Nobody said it was easy, no one said it would be this hard.” - Coldplay, "The Scientist"

26. “You’re gonna keep my soul, it was yours to have long ago.” - State Radio, "Keepsake"

27. “Celebrate we will ‘cause life is short but sweet for certain.” - Dave Matthews Band, "Two Step"

28. “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” - Florence + The Machine, "Shake it Out"

29. “There are many things I’d like to say to you but I don’t know how.” - Oasis, "Wonderwall"

30. “You say you want a revolution, well you know we all wanna change the world.” - The Beatles, "Revolution"

31. “God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy.” Billy Currington, "People Are Crazy"

32. “Well my heart is gold, and my hands are cold.” - Halsey, "Gasoline"

33. “I don’t want to be heard, I want to be listened to.” - Twenty One Pilots, "Forest"

34. “Where you invest your love, you invest your life.” - Mumford and Sons, "Awake My Soul"

35. “I think I need a sunrise, I’m tired of the sunset.” - Augustana, "Boston"

36. “All of these lines across my face tell you the story of who I am.” - Brandi Carlile, "The Story"

37. ‘Ready or not, here I come. Where you at? The night is young.” - Bridgit Mendler, "Ready or Not"

38. “In the land of Gods and Monsters, I was an angel.” - Lana Del Rey, "Gods And Monsters"

39. “Turns out not where, but who you’re with that really matters.” - Dave Matthews Band, "Best Of What’s Around"

40. “Know yourself, know your worth.” - Drake, "0 to 100"

41. “I’m little but I’m coming for the crown.” - Lorde, "Still Sane"

42. “Didn’t they tell you I was a savage?” - Rihanna, "Needed Me"

43. “Hands in the air like we don’t care.” - Miley Cyrus, "We Can’t Stop"

44. “I’ma keep running because a winner don’t quit on themselves.” - Beyonce, "Freedom"

Cover Image Credit: https://pixabay.com

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I'm 22 And I Still Don't Have My Driver's License, But It Doesn't Bother Me

Although sometimes it's inconvenient not to have one, it's not a major concern to me.

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When you turn 16, the one thing you can't wait to do is get your license so you can finally have your first taste of freedom and no longer need your parents to drive you around anywhere.

When I was 16, I had no intentions of getting my license because I had no interest in driving.

I'm 22 now and I still don't have my license. Although sometimes it's inconvenient not to have one, it's not a major concern to me.

Before you ask yourself why I still don't have it, you should know that me not having my license is not entirely a personal decision.

It's part me not trusting myself and part having a disability.

I have cerebral palsy, and if you don't know what that is, it's a disorder of the cerebellum that affects things such as balance, coordination, muscle movements and reaction times.

Having a fast reaction time and strong leg muscles are something that you need in order to drive a car. You've always got to watch for that one crazy driver who blows through the red light and constantly press down on the pedal, because how else would the car move?

Don't get me wrong. I do have my permit. I got it shortly after my eighteenth birthday and taking the test four, yes, four, times. I've been behind the wheel a few times on residential streets in my town, so I know the basics of driving a car, but it's hard for me.

I use my left foot to control both the gas and the break because the cerebral palsy is in the right half of my body. This is unfortunate for me because you need your right foot to drive. I'm not sure how I learned, but I found that using my left foot is a lot easier for me.

But, I learned pretty quickly that you can't do that when taking the actual driving test.

I haven't been behind the wheel of a car in quite a while because, truthfully, I've been busy. When I'm not at work, I'm at school, when I'm not at school, I'm at work.

I'm at school sometimes more than 12 hours a day because of homework and my internship and I work on the weekends at the same place my dad works at, so we ride together.

My mom drops me off at school in the morning before she goes to work and picks me up in the evening and my friends drive to all the concerts we attend.

I don't make that much at work, and my internship is paid but I don't get a lot from there, and I have student loans, a credit card and medical bills and my credit isn't that great yet, so I don't really have any money to buy a car.

Why have a license if I don't have the funds to purchase a car at the moment?

Sure, if I absolutely need a ride somewhere and my parents aren't home, it's a little difficult finding one if all my friends are busy, but that's about the only trouble it gives me.

I'm pretty much a homebody and I only have a few close friends that I enjoy hanging out with, and during the school year, I'm hardly ever home during the day anyway.

It gets a little annoying when my friends, family, co-workers and sometimes professors ask me when I'm going to get my license, but I try to explain it in the nicest way possible.

Without using my disability as the primary excuse, I let them know that I'm just not ready to drive nor do I have any way to purchase a car.

Maybe in the future, when I'm out of school and I have my finances under control, I will work on getting a car AND THEN my license.

I am aware and fully understand that the day will come when my parents won't be here to give me a ride anymore, but everyone else needs to understand that driving is a personal decision and not everyone is ready to do so at the age of 16.

And that's perfectly okay.

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