WTWG Chronicles | Ch. 8: "The Real World"

I had some great times during my college career: In Freshman Year I had the most fun; Sophomore Year was the most challenging; Junior Year brought about the most changes; Senior Year was the most memorable because it was the last time I had "no worries" in life before I entered "The Real World." Through all the graduation prep, job hunting, career planning and relationship building, I was busy around the clock. I began to see my adolescence evaporate right before my eyes. Life was beginning to happen fast and I didn't want to get left behind.

I would always hear people say that once you graduate from college, "Things change." However, I didn't let my big, scary future stops myself from loving Tasha. We were still madly in love as I was preparing to graduate from college and figure out my next move. Tasha was a rising Junior at the time, so as I was leaving school, she would have one more year left. There was some talk of my leaving the state of Michigan after graduation for Chicago, Illinois, to work for a sports agency start-up. I eventually turned down the job because I wanted to stay closer to home and grow with the company I had worked for during college. I recognized a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity with Simple & Plain Clothing because I understood the vision and philosophy of the lifestyle brand. I saw myself staying with the company for as long as it took because I believed in its powerful mission: "Live At Your Own Pace."

Since the ripe age of 16, I wanted to become an entrepreneur. I wanted to start my own clothing line like Puff, Jay and Russell. Simple & Plain gave me a shot so I wanted to see it through, no matter how long it took to reach the mountaintop. This was the life of a (starving) artist. Staying home in Michigan also had another bonus with Tasha still being in school. After undergrad, Tasha was on track to start her MBA program at Michigan. With both of us remaining in the same city, we could still see each other all the time. Yes, I would have to get a "real" job because Simple & Plain was just a hustle at the time. Tasha would be busier with grad school, but we'd be fine because it's just "school."

As the relationship between Tasha and I matured in the second year, I noticed something. It was getting harder. Everything wasn't easy breezy like it was in the beginning as undergrads. We couldn't see each other any time we wanted. Something always seemed like it got in the way of our time together. Work. Classes. Photo shoots. Case studies. Trips. Conferences. Meetings. Life.

It became apparent that Tasha and I weren't ready for this adult relationship life. We had to talk this thing through and figure out how we could sustain our relationship. At this point, we were both planning to be married to one another for the rest of our lives, so breaking up with each other was not up for discussion. We both confessed that having a relationship as an adult is different from being in one as college students. We both addressed our issues in how the other person can be more supportive within the relationship personally and professionally. After the talk, we felt positive about the direction we were headed. We prayed about everything, regained our peace from God and it felt good.

Man, I guess they were right after all. Welcome to the “real” world...

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