Discover more from Dear Twenty-Somethings
Shoot! Your! Shot! 🌟
15+ stories to encourage you to take that leap of faith.
Happy Wednesday, my dearest Twenty-Somethings! I hope you’re all hanging in there after what’s been one chaotic week. (How is it only Wednesday?!)
Now, for the newsletter you’ve all been waiting for: Shoot. Your. Shot. What exactly is meant by shoot your shot, you might be wondering? Let’s dive right in.
According to Urban Dictionary (which, did you know started at Cal Poly?), the top definitions of shoot your shot are as follows:
To be brave and have the audacity to do something that might be embarrassing. “Shooting your shot” takes motivation; it means that you only have one chance to do something before you lose that chance.
To let go of your pride and pursue someone you are interested in.
To take a chance no matter if you fail or not.
To full send something or just do something and hope for the best.
Make sense? Essentially, to shoot your shot is to take a leap of faith, particularly towards something you might not think you have a good chance of attaining. Without further ado, I’d like to share all of your submissions. Truly, genuinely, seriously—THANK YOU ALL! Let these stories of Twenty-Somethings shooting their shot inspire each and every one of ya:
I originally started as an intern at the company I currently work for. I was the only Black employee at the time. As an intern, I scheduled a meeting with the president of the company and gave her a presentation on why she should hire me full-time. About a week and a half later, I got a job offer.
(Fuck him, but...) after my EP release show, I met [redacted] for a brief second and thought he was really cute so I followed him on Instagram. He then DMed me the day after and said he really liked my set so I thanked him and then was like, “We should grab a drink some time if you’re down” ... obviously it worked out (until it didn’t), BUT still was proud of myself for putting myself out there. It’s a good reminder for women especially in heteronormative relationships that you do have AGENCY!!!
I moved to NYC without knowing a single person.
I used to and am still now pretty anxious about just going out in public alone or just doing stuff alone. I went to church alone on Easter Sunday one time in college and I was really nervous, but a girl named Marissa came up to me and was really nice and made me feel welcome. I even went to a few of her and her friends’ bonfires in the following weeks.
I applied for this job on LinkedIn and then proceeded to message five people at the company. (Got my interview because of LinkedIn, never received an email about applying.)
I was swiping on Hinge and I saw this girl who I knew from the dorms at Cal Poly. Haven’t really talked to her in 5 years, but I was kinda drunk so I figured I’d message her since she moved to my hometown. Slid in her DMs, gave her my number, and now we’re dating.
As college graduation was approaching, I became increasingly anxious about not having a job post-grad. I had a degree in journalism and wanted to do something that would make an impact, but I knew without a sporadic, snap decision, I would be stuck in California (probably back at my parents’ house) listlessly waiting for “the right thing” to come along. So, I went out on a whim and applied to teach elementary school in Baltimore. I knew nothing about teaching and had never lived anywhere except for the West Coast. I was certain I wouldn’t get in, because, duh, I had never taught before and in my interview I compared teaching to working my college job at Jamba Juice. I got in and moved across the country the day after I graduated to teach third grade in Baltimore. Yes, I was shooting my shot with applying for this job in the first place, but I was even more so shooting my shot trusting myself to really do this thing. It was the most difficult, stress-inducing, beautiful and rewarding decision I’ve ever made. I had to trust myself that this decision was made for a reason and I was meant to be here, no matter how hard the process. Here I am three years later, still teaching and moving in with my boyfriend, who is also a Baltimore City Schools teacher. The world works in mysterious ways, so shoot that shot! Why not?
I gave my DC apartment neighbor my number on a post-it note and we went on a few dates.
I’m currently taking a leap of faith into my family’s CPR business. We’re a CPR training center, and I’ve known basic CPR and First Aid all my life. When I decided to get serious about teaching people to save lives, I took an EMT course. I got myself EMT certified to make myself more credible to teach and certify doctors and nurses. I was also taking public speaking classes for confidence with speaking to a crowd of people as well as some business classes. After teaching in the Bay Area for a few years and knowing the ins and outs of the business, we’ve been expanding to mostly Northern California. I opened my own office in Chico. I started a B.A. in Healthcare Management and I’m building clientele. I just want my family business to succeed because I genuinely feel it could make an impact on life or death situations. I think it’s important for everyone to know this, because when it’s a matter between life or death, you want to know exactly what to do!
I met him at a concert by chance through a friend of a friend, we hit it off and I was close to feeling love at first sight and excited to see what the future could hold. Then he turned to the group and said, “Well, I should go find my date now!” and he returned to the girl he’d came with. Being the cocky little shit I was, and still basking in the glow of what felt like a love at first sight experience, I found his social media the next day and sent him a message to go and get drinks. I was let down gently (doi), seeing as he was seeing someone, but upon running into him months later when he was single again, I was finally taken up on my proposition for drinks. Very soon after meeting for drinks we were dating, and soon after that we were in love. Every day that we were together I thanked my lucky stars that I’d followed my impulse to reach out and let my interest be known! I feel very passionately about this topic and I 1000% endorse ladies shooting their damn shot!! It is essentially how I instigate 85% of my romantic and sexual relationships and can be attributed to my borderline obnoxious personality.
When I was interviewing for jobs my senior spring, I decided to take a chance on a data science job even though I wasn’t sure I was the strongest candidate. I knew myself to be capable and a hard worker though, and I reminded myself that a similarly qualified white guy would definitely apply. Today, I’m really happy going on two years at this job and did end up learning everything I didn’t already know on the job!
I slid into this man’s Instagram DMs and asked if he wanted to grab a bev and he agreed unenthusiastically, but TBD! He’s either the potential love of my life or a shot your shoot case study.
After returning to a seasonal wine job for a second harvest, I asked for a pay raise. I expected a $1-2 increase, but they gave me a $5 hourly increase! Totally worth it even though I was so nervous to ask!
I've definitely shot my shot and then didn't make it and then tried again and it worked out. That's how I got the job I have now and love! I applied to a job a year ago, got rejected, asked what I could do better, then applied again to the same newsroom and got the job. I am now writing super impactful stuff and am able to see my family all the time which is what I wanted for the time being!
Fresh out of journalism school, I was 22 when I arrived in a new city looking for my first reporting job. I ended up at a local radio station as a news assistant, where the benefits and pay were so meager I had to work an extra six hours a day as a nanny to pay rent. Six months later, I saw that a national newspaper was looking for a news assistant. I immediately applied but was rejected about a week later. I noticed that the email wasn't from a generic "firstname.lastname@example.org" address, but from an actual, real life human's address. I decided, what the hell, I'll ask if they'd meet up for coffee to talk about how I could position myself better for the job next time. They actually agreed to meet at a coffee shop, where they admitted that my resume had never even been read because they had received over 500 applications for that same job. They said I was more than qualified and that next time the job was open, they'd let me know. Less than two months later, a different news assistant position opened up and that same manager reached out to me and offered me an interview. A week later, the job was mine. It didn't pay that much more, but I was able to stop nannying, focus on learning more about the industry and figuring out what kind of reporting I wanted to do, and meet editors that I still work with (by successfully pitching them articles on a freelance basis) to this day, four years after leaving that position to be a full-on reporter.
So, my beautiful Twenty-Somethings, are you sensing a theme here?! DM her! Apply for that position! Ask for a raise! Make your case! Ask that cutie to get a drink! SHOOT! YOUR! SHOT!
I’ve always admired people who don’t care what others think of them. Those who do whatever they want, inhibition-free! It takes a certain amount of vulnerability, courage and self-love to go for what you want. And true confidence is power, baby!
After all, what other people think of you is none of your business.
I also think shooting your shot is a great way to gain confidence. I like to think that every great thing I’ve attained for myself in this life came from taking a crazy leap of faith, which is why I’m always the first to tell a pal to shoot their shot. I applied to be the head of my college newspaper, sure I was underqualified and nervous as all heck. I am 100 percent certain that leap of faith is the reason I am where I am today. I got my first job in NYC by cold emailing the editor-in-chief with my resume and cover letter—not a month later, I was on a red-eye to Brooklyn. I even met one of my best friends from high school (😜) when I DMed her on Twitter and told her I thought she was cool!
Whether it’s career-wise, relationship-wise, or the like, fearlessness speaks for itself. And I guarantee it’ll make it easier the next go-round. Even if you’re rejected, won’t you feel proud of yourself that you tried? I mean, realistically, what’s the worst that could happen? You don’t get the job? He says he isn’t interested? Word to Nike and just do it!
The world is your oyster! So, in case you need that extra push: Message him first! Apply even though you’re underqualified! Get that tattoo! Tell her she’s your girl crush! Leave your number on that receipt! Wear those crazy platform sandals!
What other way is there to live this life?!
With that, here are a few picks to get you through the week:
This week’s songs remind me that I’m awesome and need to shoot my shot! Enjoy <3
This banger was… a cultural reset, to say the least. Lindsay, my gal! I like to think she’d enjoy Dear Twenty-Somethings. Much love!
Y’all remember this one? I can practically hear the static on Radio Disney as my mom and I jammed out to this back in the early 2000s. We didn’t forget about you, Natasha!
Even my dad thinks this song slaps! But actually, this is top 10 of all time for me. Play this at my funeral, please and thank you!
Damn, it took three months for me to throw Aubrey in a newsletter! I guess I was trying to hide the fact that I love Drake. This song puts me on the freeway with friends, windows down and hair blowing about! Soak it up, baby.
Refinery29: “So, Realistically, How Long Are We Going To Be Wearing Masks?” - Good explainer with lots of helpful info!
The Cut: “Was That Racism?” - Short answer: Yes. Great read!
New American Best Friend by Olivia Gatwood - I shared my fave poem of all time, “Alternative Universe in Which I Am Unfazed by the Men Who Do Not Love Me,” last week, and I thought I’d share the whole poetry book! She’s amazing—please, indulge yourselves.
Why Did You Kill Me? - This absolutely insane documentary is truly a culmination of the 21st century: MySpace, catfishing, and a murder mystery. As heartbreaking as it is, this story is beyond captivating—10/10, would recommend.
Netflix’s Long Shot - This documentary came out in 2017, but it’s just one of those stories that proves sometimes it’s all about time, place and chance. A man was exonerated for murder in part because he was in the background of a Curb Your Enthusiasm shot at a Dodgers game. You can’t make this stuff up!
Shop Funk Yeah - My gal Lexie recently opened an Etsy shop with the CUTEST clay rings, glittery resin hair clips, and my personal favorite, Cosmic Cowgirl Boot Earrings! Take a look, the vibes are outta this world.
Sticker-lishious - My gal Cayley created some super cute stickers for a Bend, Oregon-based, women-run business’ Young Artist Series! Super adorable roller skates, a disco ball, and more!
INEX’s The Better Mask - I love this comfy, breathable mask that doesn’t fog your glasses. What more could you ask for?
Roasted Veggie Quinoa Bowl - Make it your own, baby! Obviously, I add pickled onions and fried tofu. Yummmmmm.
Superfood Chia Seed Parfait - WOW is all I have to say. Blueberries, bananas, and blood oranges… plus, it’s naturally gluten-free and dairy-free.
“Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Question of the week: What’s something you’ve always wanted to do, but have been too afraid to do?
Thank you endlessly for supporting me—it means more to me than you’ll ever know! I’m always looking to improve my work, so leave a comment or send me a message about what you want to read about in the next Dear Twenty-Somethings. I’m all ears!
If you liked what you read, send this newsletter to a friend! Heck, send it to 10 friends! Sending love and light to you, wherever you are. 🌟
Cheers & happy Wednesday! Shoot your shot and I’ll see y’all next week.
xoxoxo, Quinnie <3