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When ‘No’ Leads to a Bigger ‘Yes’

If the last few years has taught me anything, it’s that every stereotype of the phrase ‘everything happens for a reason’ is absolutely true.

To best explain, I need to back up the timeline for about 8 years, so bare with me for a minute…

I had just graduated college, and decided to move back home and take a job locally, both to be with my grandfather whose health was declining, and also to be closer to my long distance boyfriend of the time-- who we can call Kevin.

Kevin seemed great, although a bit reckless in his choices, and the 22 year old version of myself was completely blind to any and all warning signs in the months leading up to this decision to move home.

He came from a great family who adored me, he was best friends with MY best friends boyfriend, he went to church (when his aunt forced him)-- which is apparently all it took to take my ‘I’m never moving back home’ attitude, and toss it right out the window.

I had gotten a job as a baker for a new restaurant, and I felt as though this would allow me the opportunity to decide if I wanted to open a bakery, or perhaps go back to school to refine my craft.

And then…. He got arrested.

Yes. I said arrested.

In front of me. At his parents home. Which they knew was about to happen and no one bothered to warn me.

This 22 year old man of my dreams was also selling illegal prescription drugs, and he got caught.

This guy that I had seemingly made the plans for the rest of my life around, left some VERY important details out of his background, and suddenly I found myself visiting a rehab facility on weekends, rather than hanging out with friends.

While I was completely devastated by the lies and deceit, I was more upset about the fact that I had let a boy determine the trajectory of my life. But after a few months of wallowing in self-pity and anger, I picked myself up and quite literally walked into the kitchen at Barton College, and asked for a job as their baker. And y'all-- they said yes! Granted, I asked for too small of a salary and worked FAR too many hours, but I made a decision that felt right, and I had done it for me.

Flash forward a couple of years, and I have since decided against the idea of owning a bakery, but am still loving everything about the catering side of events. I have moved over to a different position at the college, and am now managing a residential building for college athletes and assisting with on-campus programming, when I am not coordinating weddings or decorating cakes. My days were FULL, but they were full of things that brought me joy, and I absolutely didn’t care.

Flash forward another year or so, and I have met the man who would become my husband. About six months into dating, I learn that my contract will not be renewed at the college, and I have to decide whether I should start in a graduate school program, or if I should give this business I had been dabbling in for the past few years a try.

After he encouraged me to try venturing out on my own as an entrepreneur, I leave the world of residential life, and start a job as a restaurant manager. This proves to be a valuable learning experience, although it isn’t conducive to growing a brand that shares some of the busiest days of the week, and after a year or so, I decide to try working somewhere part time instead, to allow more weekend flexibility.