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.