Prior to writing these very words that you're reading, the blog "how-to" suggested I write something "engaging" and/or "inspiring" in this blank empty space. Quite honestly, I don't know if I have either but I'll give it a shot. Tomorrow, Monday, October 16, 2017, will be my first day on the job of the "freelance world." Not sure what that life will entail other than the fact that I'm a bit at peace with being not at peace. Because for the second time in ten years, I'll be waking up the next day without knowing for sure what my day or week or month will look like. The last time this occurred was when I was 22, green, and a bit hungover from the night before, contemplating what in the world my life would look like in terms of a career. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I'd move on to pursue my love of writing to grad school in Chicago and then eventually landing my dream job as an editor for a publishing company. Fast forward to today, and I've come to realize that my hopes and dreams are still that of the little girl who sat within the counselor's office in the seventh grade.
"See these dots right here?..." My counselor asked as she pointed to the humungo box they called a computer, its orange beady fonts stared back at me with a graph of many dot outliers that didn't fit into a specific "personality" category. "Well you're kinda all over the place. Kind of like creating a circular shape rather than a square boxed section. Maybe you could be ... whatever it is you want to be."
Most children would beam at the thought of being anything they chose to be, and in a way I was intrigued to learn more. I'd always wanted to be a ninja. My cousins and I would hide and pretend to be on secret missions throughout our grandmother's house and backyard. And with our ninja-like skills of creating and dismantling a cushion fort before our grandmother returned from the bathroom, we were sure to impress any ninja job skill seeker. The other part of me, however, was scared and confused as my other classmates called out names and skills of a "teacher" or "doctor," which was soon diagnosed to their own persona after their personality test concluded with the counselor.
A job as a teacher came to mind, but so did a buyer for Liberty House, an actress, a researcher, a journalist, a photographer, a painter, a writer, etc. Too many aspirations and yet no clear goal or motivation to attain any of them.
It wasn't until I moved to Perugia, Italy for a semester abroad when I started to hone my skills as a writer. No internet, no T.V. (barely), no texting, no social media. Only the well-worn pages of my Nicholas Sparks' books and journal were my salvage and form of entertainment for four months. Along with the fact that my six roommates and I had Italy in our backyard, I found travel writing to be a beautiful escape and expression for new adventures.
Today, this writing gig of mine has certainly stuck, along with the fact that I'm still restless when it comes to finding that "one" career to define me. And even though there won't be a steady paycheck or schedule within the next couple of months, I've come to terms and peace that I'm exactly who I was from the very beginning. Funny how things come full circle. I'm just grateful to have been placed on the graph in the first place.