Born and raised in foggy Northern California, Arielle Estoria Leda Wilburn is a writer, speaker and creative. Her ultimate purpose behind her work, and in life, is a diligent pursuit of instilling and reminding people of their worth through words. She is made of sass and good intentions, and has a deep love for car karaoke, brunch and flowers.
No one really told me what would happen after the jump, they just kept telling me to jump. It was as if everyone around me knew that my life was going to be so much bigger than anything I could have imagined except me.
The year before graduating college was filled with terrifying moments of uncertainty.
Do I go to Grad school?
Do I go home back to Northern California and live with my parents?
Do I get a “normal” job and work for ‘the man” (whoever he is) for the rest of my life?
It’s almost as if the moment you step off that stage, you have to have it all figured out: where you’re going to live and what you’re going to be. And I missed that whole get a husband by the time you’re out of college memo, so I was figuring all of this out on my own and hardcore stressing out about it.
Eventually that day in May came around and I walked across that stage with no plan to grab at the end of it.
I woke up the next day thinking I had missed something, this wasn’t “my plan” and I felt as though I didn’t have any purpose.
“I’m just going to move home” became my safety statement for anytime I felt like giving up, or felt scared of not knowing what was coming next.
Shortly after graduation I got a job, then another one, and another one — until having less than two jobs felt weirdly abnormal.
I hustled all day and all night but I was happy and felt filled with purpose, until one of those jobs came crashing to an end. I wasn’t being paid, I wasn’t at peace in the work environment and I knew that bad things were happening behind closed doors.
I had to leave, but I grieved the loss of a connection I had hoped would make all my dreams of becoming a poet come true.
I was back to not one or two but six jobs – doing all that work just to (barely) feed one person.
What in the world was I doing?
Was this my purpose–to live life as a struggling artist?
I never would have imagined that not even two years later I would be traveling and doing poetry, that I would have gigs every month doing what I love. No one told me and yet everyone knew, except me.
The fun part is not knowing because if we did, it would deter us from enjoying the journey of it all.
I had the honor of writing and performing a poem for The Yellow Conference, a conference equipping and encouraging creative entrepreneurial women. The 2017 theme was, “The Present Journey” because we can get so caught up in where we’re going and how we’ll get there but ignore the importance of the moments it takes us to get there. This is a snippet of the poem I shared with them below, in hopes that it would also encourage you and your journey.
Where you are right now
Is exactly where you should be
Your story is not any slower or less important than anyone else’s
And your journey is not in vain,
it is the very place where you slowly become
exactly who you are meant to be
See it’s not about where we are going
It’s about how we are getting there
It’s about every small beginning before our first leap
It’s about how we ignored fear and decided to take the first leap
It’s about how we are still afraid and yet we do it anyway
Where you are going, will not be the most magical
The most magical is in the mountains you climbed to get there
It’s about how resilient and brave you were to keep climbing
Remember how you got here
the little beginnings, the soft whisper of starting
The tug on your heart that convinced you that you were made for more
Because you were made for made
The uncertainty you felt and yet the passion to keep going
Dedicating your life to whatever may come your way
Every tedious step, a beautiful addition to the story — to your story
So embrace the JOURNEY
You are not done yet
For it is only the most beautiful beginning
Take in all these moments, even the really hard ones. The moments when you’re crying on your bedroom floor or in your car.
The moments when there’s no money in your account and someone offers to take you to lunch–put your pride down and go eat the free food!
Take in every beautiful and hard valley moments so that you can appreciate the view from the mountain. Take a deep breath, know that you are filled with purpose, and enjoy the journey.