Wow...how have you been blogging buddies? I've been...well, I'll explain. There's been a lot of development on my end, and I bet you all have no idea how much you had to do with it.
Here, I'll break it down for you.
Remember about 8 months ago when I started blogging on a complete whim? No? Well that's cool. I had three week break between when spring semester ended and summer semester began, and I'd never gone that long without having a paper to write in years, so when a friend suggested blogging to keep my fingers busy, I decided to check it out.
I found Blogger, opened an account under a fake name (not completely ready to trust the internet) and started writing. College was all I'd known, so that was a good enough topic at the time. But as I became more and more frustrated with the career path I had chosen, the topics turned to self-introspection. What the hell was I doing? For as defiant as I was in everything else in life, I sure waved the white towel pretty quick when my parents limited my options for potential college majors. I gave in without a fight. Without doing my own research, even. And sure enough, the farther I got along on the path that had been chosen for me by those "who knew best", the more miserable I became.
And through it all, you were always the first ones to know. I explained to you the intense misery I felt at my first "big girl job", how I wanted to just keep driving everyday on my way to work, and how I felt trapped and confined by the metaphorical prison cell known as the cubicle. I word for word described my boss's unwarranted bullying, and then filled you in on the day I got fired. After that ordeal, I gave you more than a glimpse into who I really was by letting you all see the results of my own psychological career assessment. I had previously changed my mind so many times (maybe I should have seen the sign then?) that I felt guilty about letting any of my family know that after two bachelor degrees and a Master's, I was starting from scratch. You, blogging world, were my main source of feedback.
Soon I focused on a select few careers and decided to take the leap. Writer/photographer turned out to be the most realistic (when compared to acting, writing music, finger-painting and underwater basket weaving) but it still seemed like such a long shot. But with your encouragement, I took the leap.
I sent out about countless job applications to websites and magazines asking the naive question of, "Hi, I like to write. How do I write for you?" Brash and completely unprofessional? Definitely. But worth the embarrassment to get my question answered? Absolutely. I had no idea how to get into this business, and I knew I had to start somewhere.
I got 6 replies and they offered me jobs writing bit by bit articles. Instantly, I felt the pit of my stomach grow heavy. What the hell did I think I was doing? I don't have a journalism degree, or an English degree or a writing degree, or an 'in' with some famous poet, or a collection of antique pens, or a library with leather-bound books...I had the sudden urge to answer all of them back with, "Sorry, family emergency. Maybe the spring issue will work out better. P.S. lose my email I'm terrified of you." But I'd already committed on here. On my online blog with a fake name. So I stuck it out.
And thank God I did. It's been tough, but I now blog for three separate companies on a weekly basis, and write for 3 different statewide magazines. Eventually I'd love to call myself a freelance photojournalist (I'm still saving for that damn camera) and be able to document history right as it happens. In the meantime though I'm learning new skills, like how to actual promote a blog correctly and how to use backlinking and other ways of optimization to increase traffic. Plus last night I found out I type 80 words a minute. Take that, Mavis Beacon.
Blogger buddies, what I wanted to say was thank you. Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou a million times over. I feel like I'm finally in a job/career that is what I want to do, not what someone thought I would be good at. I'm excited, and I can't wait to see where this is all going to lead. I work hard, I make my own hours, and guess what...if I travel? I don't have to take time off work.
So that trip to Italy? That you voted on? Still planned for the spring. Except instead of a week long trip to Italy it's gradually grown to a 3 week trip to 6 different countries.
And I can't wait to write all about it.