I sometimes forget how fortunate I am to be embedded in a community of creative thinkers. Life in a coffee shop can be stifling, surrounded by the same smells of espresso and freshly baked muffins; the world of a freelance writer becomes a very small – almost claustrophobic place. But when I read a blog post like Shanley Knox’s – a writer, philanthropist and overall amazing person – it makes me step back and think about my current position.
(I know in a prior post I promised to think less. But the person I made that promise to was unable to follow through on a couple of his, so I feel no need to stay true to mine.)
Shanley described her 22nd year of life as the year of the “hot mess,” and I can empathize with this statement. I will be turning 23 in two months, and look back at the last year of my life as a shit-show of sorts. I completed college (and partook in all the celebrations that go with it), spent a summer in a depressive hole of unemployment, got my big break at a Chicago newspaper, moved into the city, made incredible progress at a rapidly expanding website, met dozens of new people and kept in touch with a treasured network of old friends. Not bad for a year, eh?
Where was I a year ago? Recently heartbroken, unsure about the direction of my life or career, in decent physical condition, maintaining a healthy relationship with my family and an even healthier one with alcohol. Aside from a few more bylines and slightly shorter hair, where I am now does not feel that different than a year ago. What have I been doing with myself?