Post 500: Welcome back to Blackbyrd

In the fall of 2014 I toured a personal finance magazine’s office in downtown DC. I had actually secured an internship there for a summer but turned it down for another, more-substantial offer closer to home. 

(P.S. I’ve now worked at the company I chose over the magazine for nearly seven years.) 

(P.P.S. I knew close to nothing about personal finance, but I suppose I’m a classically trained journalist who could have figured it out.)

During the tour I couldn’t help but think about what my life there could have been like. The bright office in a beautiful building, the shiny tile floors, the official-looking professionals in their smart, tailored suits. Did I make the right decision? Two summers in a row at the same company — really, Emily? Who would I have met?

But the environment and my daydream isn’t what stood out most to me about the visit. It was the woman who would have been my boss, a notable alumna from my alma mater. It wasn’t how she looked, what she wore, or what she did — it was one tiny thing she said that she probably didn’t think anything of, but it has stuck with me for nearly 10 years. 

Twenty-Year-Old Emily: “What do you do in your free time? Do you ever write for yourself?”

Notable Alumna: “Oh gosh, by the time I get home from work, staring at another computer is the last thing I want to do.”

I was shocked. Imagine me, the self-proclaimed poetic genius five years deep into a personal blog and three years into what essentially was a writing degree, discovering that someone who could be a role model didn’t make time to write for herself outside of work.

I couldn’t imagine it because, at that time, not 24 hours could pass without Emily jotting down a new blog post idea; a young woman’s naive belief that what she has to say really really matters. 

Today, I get it. Today my eyes are tired.

But my fingers have been itching for years with blog posts unwritten and prose unprofessed. I need a creative outlet for my brain beyond the little victories I get at work in-between project planning and PowerPoint deck creation.

I’ve said this before, but this time I really mean it: this is the year I’m bringing my creative writing back. I’ve titled this “The Blog Project,” and my goal is to revisit my roots and practice my writing. (Aka I DON’T GIVE A SHIT IF ANYONE READS IT… I think.) I’m reading more than I have since I was a freckled kid lazing away over long stretches of summertime and I’ve written more poetry in the last couple of months than I have in the past four years combined.

So here’s Blackbyrd, a blog started by a 14-year-old in the heat of angst and uncertainty who is now a woman in her late 20s. I’ll be covering topics as a professional millennial plus some just-for-fun musings and projects.

Welcome back.

The personal blog gets personal (isn’t that enticing)

Since this is a personal blog, let’s get a little more personal.

My self-esteem took a blow this past week. I woke up Sunday morning not knowing how I got in my own bed. I still barely remember what happened the night before. Then it hit me. Somebody had to take care of me. 

Me. The self-sufficient be-your-own-person know-it-all.

Me. The girl who doesn’t like losing control.

I lost control. I’ve never lost that much control before.

And now, almost a week later, I still feel like shit about it. I hate that people saw me like that. I hate some of the things I said. I hate that I barely remember.

Now I’m doubting everything about myself. Where did the self-confident Emily go? She must be buried deep under old successes I still live for and old mindsets that I currently do not possess.

I feel like every person is my enemy. Just last week, I walked around campus talking to random people and smiling. I looked up as I walked, since my mom always tells me it exudes confidence. This week, I’ve found it easier to stare at the ground (yes, the sun has been out, but it’s not an excuse I can use). Now I feel like each look is a judgment from other people. I’m afraid people won’t like me. I’m afraid I’ve come off too strong. (Emily didn’t used used to give two shits about this before.)

The happy-go-lucky Emily stepped out for the time being. I wish I could call her back.

So, those of you who do dislike me, you can be happy that the self-confident know-it-all is in hibernation.

Those of you who do care, just smile at me when you see me. It’ll help.