10.09.14

sunrise over the east river

oh, timing. sometimes one has both a relatively significant life change to announce and a pre-jury-duty photo of the williamsburg bridge in the foreground of a dawn-drenched simmering hellscape to share; which of those things should one hold back to avoid cheesy new-beginning imagery? i'm no good at holding things back.

after a decade of highs, lows, hot husbands, and listicles, the ladymag and i have parted ways. it wasn't entirely a surprise; given what's happened across the industry over the last several years, everyone still in print knows that they're in for a wild ride. i've gone to work with my heart in my mouth since 2008, when my magazine faced its first big round of layoffs, and my first feeling when it happened to me—my department was consolidated with several others, and my editorial position was eliminated—was relief; when the worst thing finally arrives, you don't have to be afraid. you just become the next version of yourself, right?

i loved my ten years editing a women's magazine; i wasn't paid very well, but my colleagues were kind and the work was deliciously weird. the way my workload waxed and waned over the course of each month left me plenty of time to do my own writing, and every year or so i'd resolve to get back into it. i never did, exactly, but i would.

two days after my layoff i was in california with family. let's all raise a glass to dumb luck in vacation planning! my sister and brother-in-law are artists—he's been doing his thing for several years now, and she went full-time freelance a year ago—and we've had dozens of conversations over the years about stability and passion, the man versus the muse, all the fun holiday chats. she had champagne and sparklers waiting for us when we got to their place in los angeles, and she and i finally started using hard numbers as we talked about work. you sound more like you when you talk about writing, she said; you sound more like you, now.

my other first feeling was that i need to write for a living; i need to stop pretending that that isn't what i've wanted all along. it feels a lot like nausea, but it's motion sickness.

11 comments:

LPC said...

You're just so fricking brilliant. Talent will out, unless someone actually bars the door.

Jen said...

Does this mean that more exposes about my beanbag chair are in the works?

theRachel said...

You've got this.

erin said...

My heart's all jammed up in my throat for you, but 99% of it is excitement and anticipation. Can't wait to see what you come up with.

lauren said...

jen, funny you should mention that - a little web piece i did this week (should be online soon, please share it with everyone you know so that they continue to pay me to write little web pieces) begins with that time i thought i should hook my room key up to my bellybutton ring.

lisa, rachel, erin - thank you. i need all the momentum you've got (urp).

jen said...

well, it wasn't the worst idea ever.

i can't wait to see the first piece of your new freelance career! make sure we know when/where to find it!

meg said...

your words are kindling and i cannot wait to see them make fire all over the place.

Hannah Mae said...

Congratulations! As someone who has been intermittently employed (but fully busy) and two weeks from ruin since 2010 now, I am here - standing out past the edge of the cliff, with Wile E. Coyote - to tell you that YOU CAN DO IT and in a very important way YOU HAVE ALREADY DONE IT. Life without a salary remains occasionally nauseating and perpetually thrilling at least this far in. Security is not a real thing - never was - but liberty is. Hotcha!

Lauren said...

I'm so behind. SO. BEHIND. Congratulations, really, for the opportunity to do what you love. You're such a cool lady. xo

Rachel said...

So I was popping in to see if there was an Istanbul post and realized I somehow missed this one.

Change is terrifying but you are going to be amazing, with whatever you do. Writing with a side of floral arranging? You've got it.

lauren said...

Life without a salary remains occasionally nauseating and perpetually thrilling at least this far in. Security is not a real thing - never was - but liberty is.

i think about this every day, HM.