When I was a kid, I decided that I was going to make a daily newspaper for my neighbourhood. Obviously, as a 7-year-old, you don’t know much about the world. So I filled the pages with what I knew of my own. Next-door, Henry & Judy were growing some flowers, and across the street, Zack’s cat just had kittens. I charged my neighbours 50 cents for this juicy gossip, but sadly, The Daily Pestana only lasted 3 days.
Fast forward, to 7th-grade-Kaylee rocking a middle part and long hippy hair. A new boy band came on the scene —The Jonas Brothers— and I wanted to express to the world (and secretly to them) my love and admiration, so I did it the only way I knew how; through media. I taught myself the ins and outs of photoshop hoping that if I made a fan-site impressive enough, Nick Jonas might notice the brilliance, and have to marry me. Oddly things never worked out that way, but although my love for The Jonas Brothers did not make it to the “Year 3000”, my passion for media continued on.
High school finally came around, and I decided to take up “Journalism” as an elective. I ended up loving the class and fulfilling my passions of creating a newspaper that lasted longer than a week. By my senior year of high school I had worked myself up to Editor-in-chief, pouring everything that I could into the articles and designs of my section’s layout. It felt good to finally have my hard work pay off in the form of a small title on the back of a newspaper that most of my friends didn’t even look at.
A few months into my leading, my teacher approached me and bluntly said, “You are not a good writer.” My whole world was wrecked. Something that I had been so passionate about my entire life, and was basing my future on was shattered. After that, I dropped my journalism class, stopped caring about most of my school essays, and did the bare minimum to pass. My teachers noticed, but I was never able to make the link back to that moment.
Jump ahead, to my 18-year-old self flying to Australia. I entered into an environment where I gave God full access to not only my heart, but my past and all the hurt that had come with it. At one point the lecturer challenged everyone to pray and ask God what we were passionate about as kids. I remembered all of the things that I use to love and do on a daily basis. He then said, “These things, they are the things God instilled into you from birth. They are your passions, your gifts, and your callings— should you choose to accept them.”
It was then that I realised I was called to communicate. That I am passionate about trying to help people understand things through my eyes, in whatever way I can; through art, design, and writing. I now have an unshakable message to communicate. A message that when criticism comes, I can take it like “water off a ducks back.”
Since that moment, God has worked almost daily to redeem my passions that seemed so far gone. I now work full-time in the communications department of my organisation, where I have to constantly create and then share what I’ve made. And I now see the beauty in coming together with a team to refine and shape each other through the process, because what follows is the “HECK YEAH!” and high-fives when we create something beautiful.
Written by Kaylee.