Why I Wear Yellow

In honor of Suicide Prevention Week (although it technically ended yesterday), I thought I would share a column I wrote for Central Michigan Life back in 2012. It’s about what it was like losing someone who I looked up to as a role model to suicide when I was just 10-years-old.

Gone too soon are words that play in my mind when I think of someone who was like another older sister to me and committed suicide.

I was 10 years old when one of my sister’s best friends, Patty, took her own life.

They had met through working together as orthodontists, and Patty became someone I came to not only respect but look up to. She was a role model for me.

I share this story, because after attending the new registered student organization Yellow Ribbon’s first meeting Monday, it made me realize just how many people have attempted or know someone who has attempted or committed suicide. I realized I am not alone in dealing with this kind of experience.

Being that young when Patty died was something I couldn’t, and still cannot to this day, wrap my mind around. As I was talking with other members of Yellow Ribbon, we discussed the stigma with suicide and the mental illnesses related to it.

Even though I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand why Patty did what she did, I know there must have been something deeper  going on than what she told people up front, something she didn’t think she could get help for.

But I wish she had.

I hear people say, “Why can’t someone just get over it?” It isn’t that simple. I know from having friends and family with mental illnesses that it isn’t always easy to reach out for help and overcome, especially when it’s expected of them to just brush it off.

I think some people are afraid to reach out for help in fear of the person they reached out to not taking them seriously.

I have had other people in my life, aside from Patty, who have expressed feelings of depression or shared thoughts of suicide. Some have actually attempted it, and I wish there was more I could personally do.

I know all I can do is offer love and support. I am not a professional, so I can’t tell people how to overcome their obstacles, but I can guide them in the right direction to get the professional help they need.

I still wish Patty could have seen in herself what I saw in her — a beautiful, caring and smart woman who was appreciated and loved by many. I wish that at even 10 years old, there was something I could have said or done to make her change her mind. If she was here today, I would tell her just how much I admired her.

After the meeting, I was already looking forward to what is next. I can’t wait to see the work Yellow Ribbon does in spreading the message to have more open communication about suicide and its prevention.

After all, yellow is more than just a color.

Until next time…

XO,

Ana

She believed she could, so she did…

Last week I received a phone call that would be the phone call I had been waiting on for just over a year.

In August 2014 I received my Bachelor of Science degree in journalism. It was more than a major I studied but an extreme passion of mine. I couldn’t wait to see what job opportunity would be awaiting for me once I received that official piece of paper and started applying for my dream job.

Well, it turns out, landing my dream job would take much longer than I anticipated. I applied anywhere and everywhere I could think of. At first I limited it to just Michigan but then after some time I decided to apply outside of Michigan as well. But, as more time went on I decided that I in fact DID want to STAY in Michigan. After all, I grew up here, most of my family lives here, and I just like Michigan.

After three months of having graduated I finally landed a job at Becky Beauchine Kulka Diamonds and Fine Jewelry. I was ecstatic, especially since I love jewelry (and later on became OBSESSED with Alex and Ani). I worked there until July of this year when deep down I knew my one and true passion was to work in the news industry. I enjoyed my time at BBK and definitely learned a lot, especially about great customer service, but, I knew I wanted to focus on pursuing a journalism job. While my ultimate goal was to work in the news industry, I knew that was probably going to take some time, again, to land so I decided to apply and work at Bath and Body Works in the mean time to focus on gaining sales experience. I had gained some while at BBK, but, I wanted to expand on it at BBW. After being at BBW for little bit, I learned I was accepted into an internship program at HOMTV in Okemos. I was beyond excited, thrilled, and couldn’t wait to start. I was going to be a social media/promotions intern and I knew this experience would help me in the long run. But, little did I know, I would later have to respectfully rescind my acceptance.

A week ago on Wednesday was when I received the call I was being offered the job of news assistant/producer at WILX in Lansing. I kid you not as soon as I got off the phone I was jumping up and down freaking out. I couldn’t believe it and was BEYOND excited that my dreams of working in a newsroom were FINALLY coming true. During the phone call I immediately said yes before Kevin, the news director, could even finish explaining the details. He even paused for a minute to say how agreeable I was being. I told him I had been waiting for over a year for someone to give me a chance to get my foot in the door. He said, well, now you have your foot in the door. I couldn’t stop smiling after I got off the phone. I was on cloud nine.

He asked if I could start one week from that day and I of course said yes. So here I am on my second day of work and I still can’t believe it. It’s an incredible feeling working in the field I am most passionate about and to be surrounded by people who share the same passion for news.

While this journey took a long time (to me anyway) and at times I wanted to throw in the towel and say “forget it”, I’m certainly glad I didn’t. And I didn’t because of the constant and continued support from my family, friends and colleagues. And after experiencing it myself, I’m telling you, to whoever is reading this and still waiting to land their dream job: DON’T GIVE UP. It can be easy to want to but, like so many people told me, something WILL come along. So hang in there, and don’t stop trying. You never know when you’ll get that dream offer via phone call or email. 🙂

As I continue to learn I will be trying my best to blog about my experience on a daily or weekly basis. As you know, I LOVE to write and being able to share my experience working at WILX is a great way to showcase that love.

Also, before I end this post, I must give a shout out to a former WILX member for being an inspiration and a huge reason I wanted to work here. I can’t wait to learn from the best and showcase what I learn. So thank you, for the advice and support along the way to landing this job. It’s nice to know I can now call you a colleague.

Until next time…

XO,

Ana