A former boyfriend of mine used to drive a Lexus; he was about 20 when he received it. As the daughter of a working class couple, I didn’t ever understand the concept of such a young person driving such an expensive luxury car. I mean, of course I still went for a couple spins but it didn’t feel right. My first car was a 1989 Chevy Cavalier. Having a junker really made me appreciate having any transportation at all. When I got my Kia, I was in seventh heaven.
I left New York after completing three major magazine internships. While NYC was a great place to intern, it was not the best place to begin a career, for me anyway. While I was an intern for Martha Stewart Living, I was asked to try out an open research editor position at another MSLO magazine. I put my best foot forward, and even announced to my family that I was a shoo-in for the job. When August came and my internship ended, so did my editorial trial period. I was used to do the research work but not paid for it nor kept on staff. Apparently, two internships, even outside of MSLO, did not equal real experience to my potential employers nor did it equal enough life experience for me, a naïve Ohio girl, to know how to play the corporate game of back scratching.
How much different would my life would have been if the story of my great editorial career would have began and ended here? It would probably have been as exciting as the love story about an arranged marriage. There would be no story to tell.
I wasn’t sure what to do or what to think after leaving New York, I only knew that writing would be a bit more difficult. I kept writing for friends and family as a freelancer and for myself. Almost two years later I got a job as an assistant editor in Cincinnati. The pay wasn’t great but the job was exactly what I wanted. As time went on and the magazine began to struggle, I sought employment elsewhere and began a career in marketing. Years later, the universe conspired to bring me friends who needed consultation on web magazines and friends of friends who needed editorial services.
It’s bittersweet to wait. Those of us that are ambitious want to get to the win. We are all looking for something, a grand gesture, to let us know that we’re there, that we’ve made it. If this were to come too soon though, what fun would that be? The truth is that if it were too easy, there would be no story to tell; no testimony. It wouldn’t feel earned and it wouldn’t feel authentic.
Just like in love; us single people (or maybe just me) we want to be somebody’s and we want somebody to be ours. Although every romantic comedy teaches us that best friends make the best spouses, we still want that love at first sight, that instant gratification without taking the time to develop a strong relationship. I would even venture to ask married couples which method works best, relationships that grow over years or relationships that spark and catch fire quickly.
I am thankful for my story. One of my best friends reminded me that I am exactly where I am supposed to be at the exact time that I’m supposed to be there. I don’t like this bit of advice, but I accept it; knowing that every lead, every client, no matter how small is important and a potential referral to the next one. And now I know that the trip home from New York has given me a story to write, to inspire others to not ever give up because we can all find our path back to our dream, whether it is found in a place or simply deep within us.