Crystal Graham: Get a real job already

Crystal Graham: Get a real job already

crystal grahamOne thing I learned awhile ago, spend time with people who support you no matter what.

I’m not one to normally dish out advice. Partly because I’m young, and I believe in a lot of ways you live and learn.

Meaning I have a lot of living to do before I’m qualified to offer my two cents worth.

In this case, however, I think I’m an expert … at least I’ll claim to be.

It goes back to another metaphor I suppose, you know the one, write what you know.

In other words, if you’ve lived something, that makes you, if not an expert, at least educated on the subject.

I have a friend right now who is struggling with a lot of emotions.

And I must admit, I’ve been there.

You see, like I’m sure many of you, she’s taking a risk with her life … choosing an entirely different path than everything she has done before.

She’s going after her dream.

Since her journey began, I’ve been one of the few people in her life that have always encouraged her.

Go for it.

The timing is right.

And for every one person like me, there are at least a hundred barking out just the opposite.

Get a real job.

Wait ’til your retired to do this.

It’s a nice hobby.

It’s really a shame.

You see, my mother has always been encouraging to everyone around her.

She has the most amazing ability to make friends everywhere she goes.

Mainly because of her ability to listen.

And never judge.

So when she took her passion for creating wreaths and flower arrangements to the next level, you’d only imagine that those she had been supportive of in the past would come to her side.

A few have.

Most have not.

As her constant cheerleader, I’ve been one person cheering her on … but that cheer has really been weighed down by a number of people.

I say that I am an expert on this because, well, when this very on-line venture launched almost three years ago, there were people lining up to tell us we would fail.

I even took a job I hated for awhile – just to make ends meet while we launched the AFP and watched it grow.

When the time was right, I joined the venture full-time.

Much like my mom is dealing with now, there were a number of people who thought I needed to get a “real” job.

Some even suggested my husband mow grass of all things.

The truth is … we made it.

We are a true success story.

And I think my mom – well, she can be too.

She just can’t give up.

I understand if she has to get a job until her business grows to a certain point.

I did the same.

We all have bills to pay.

But you know what, I support her decision no matter what.

I’ll tell you something else, I believe in her, and her ability to turn her dreams into a successful business.

And as she would surely do for me, I’ll be right here, happy to assist her in any way I can.
No matter what.

I’ve learned surrounding myself with positive people and limiting my time with all the naysayers, and yes they are still out there, well, it makes life that much better.

In the end, I think that the positive people in the world will find happiness.

And well, the negative people, they’ll just keep on being negative.

I’d choose happiness over the latter any day.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.

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