Unusual Brokeness

When I set out to create this blog, I wanted it to document the process of trying to be a full-time paid travel writer. On other blogs, it’s hard to go back and see how writing styles have changed, story ideas have evolved, photography skills have advanced, or even just get the non-inspirational reality of what struggles there really can be along the way.

Those who know me know I’m a no-bullshit, speak-your-heart kind of person whether I’m drowning in unreleased tears or hyper happy. But there’s something about expressing to people who don’t know you the best (or maybe at all) that you feel like a failure. It’s a certain, scary brand of vulnerability. You want to put your best foot forward, but sometimes that would mean inactivity because you feel you have exactly zero good feet.

So, here it is: I have $.59 to my name right now. I mean, I could probably dig up some change and come up with a few dollars. But, that’s my reality.

I like to give 100 percent of myself in whatever I do and I wanted to complete college this December doing exactly that. That meant giving my best to the school publication I was working for, doing the best I could in classes, and that meant focusing on career opportunities after earning my English and Journalism degrees.

I graduated right before the holidays, and now I’m looking for a job. Any kind. I’d like to just hop into magazine writing, but many of those positions (even if fellowships) require uprooting and, as you can see from my bank account, that’s not really doable right now. And even if it were, I’m not real sure I’m ready to uproot. I like what California has to offer: beach, desert, mountains.

We all have different circumstances. Mine are that I am broke, have a naughty cat who’d make rooming with someone a hard sell, and as my mom aims to become a full-time roadster, I have an opportunity to rent her place and make it my own at a lower than average cost in an outrageous housing market.

So the “travel writer”, for now, is looking for part time work with a good wage somewhere. I’m looking to also freelance, improve my skillsets, and find what kinds of stories really float my boat to get some good clips to show off to my dream publications: National Geographic, Travel and Leisure and Sunset.

When I see colleagues hopping into positions at the New York Times, or Bloomberg, it feels weird coming out of one of the best journalism colleges in the nation and going the route I am. That’s not a commentary on the school’s resources or the quality of their education, but rather my own personal process.

I feel like I should be like everyone else. But, then, I guess there’s the root of the problem, and my challenge to anyone who sets eyes on this: Your job is to get through your day shoulding on yourself as little as possible. No comparing yourself, only being yourself. That’s what I’ll no doubt be working on for some time to come.

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