I started a new job today.

A job that I’ve been daydreaming about since I was 19, when I first realized what opportunities the future could hold.

I used to go to this thing called “Teen Vogue, Fashion U” – a conference put on by the magazine (my favorite at the time) in New York City, to teach young people about what careers could be found in the fashion industry. It took place every October and I applied, literally, the day applications opened up to the public.

I wound up attending this conference three years in a row. But it wasn’t until the last year that I came home, pulled myself onto the kitchen counter, and announced to my family that I had finally figured out WHAT it was I was supposed to be doing. I wanted to do fashion marketing, of some sort. At that point, the majority of modern social media platforms didn’t exist, and I was going off of the fact that I had been blogging for years and I had a strong sense that it was the direction that I was destined to go.

Fast forward to my college graduation in 2013. My Aunt, at my celebratory lunch after the ceremony, asked me what I wanted to do with my life and all I could respond with was: “I want to run social media for a fashion company.”

The next day, I walked into my job as a manager at a clothing store – with no idea how to turn that dream into a reality. From that point forward, I did whatever I could do to put myself in a position to get closer to that original goal. I opened stores. I answered phones. I sat at a reception desk. I commuted three hours every day. I gave myself a hernia from stress, which ultimately required surgery to fix. I sacrificed relationships. I relocated. I put other opportunities to the side. I did what I believed I had to do.

Today, I walked into my first day as the Community & Social Media Manager for a women’s shoe brand.

The past couple of weeks, since I accepted the position, have been a bit of a whirlwind. I accepted, then I got sick with a sinus infection that kept me in bed for a few days, then I went to Coachella (where my sinuses continued to suffer) – and the entire time, I’ve had to keep pinching myself cause I keep getting pulled back to that girl from all those years ago, who sat up on the kitchen counter and proudly announced a dream to her family that she had no possible idea could ever actually be brought into fruition.

I walked out of my old position on Friday, after turning in my badge and my laptop, and took a moment to turn around and look at the building where so much had changed for me over the past year. I was wearing sunglasses and I definitely shed a tear (or ten) while reflecting about the memories that office held and for what came out of my experience there.

I took the job on a whim, as a placeholder until I figured out what my next step would be. I started as a temp, simply answering the phones. Over three years later, and it wound up being the place where I found my true voice. It was a place that helped me move out of my hometown, into an apartment in LA, to put a jump start my life. It was a place where I found my independence as a woman in the business wold. Where I was able to find my path, and where I was able to build my own my own future.

And, as it turns out, it was a place that was incredibly hard to say good-bye to.

That all being said, I’m excited for the future. And I’m excited for new dreams and new paths to develop. For new futures to be written.

Today was a good day.

I’m feeling a little bit homesick for what I know, for the noise of Downtown LA and for my dear, dear friends that I no longer get to see everyday…but I’m excited to embrace the next chapter and to see if the “dream” job really plays out in reality as it did in my head, all of those years ago. I’m feeling optimistic.