Inspiration has always struck me at the most inopportune times.
I have piles of notebooks filled with half-finished stories and nonsensical elementary school ramblings jotted down in the dark as I tried to clear my mind before falling asleep, and my high school swim coach once bought me a waterproof notepad so I could spend my five seconds of rest in between sets scribbling the ideas that always seemed to come to me as I stared at a black line for hours on end.
But one year ago, I wasn’t inconvenienced by insomnia or sogginess, but rather a bout of frustration I experienced during one of my intro-level journalism classes. Writing, a passion that had always come so easily to me, had suddenly become a chore; I felt intimidated by the words that had always been my source of creativity, and proofreading and editing– tasks that usually bring me more joy than I’d like to admit– became the source of my indescribable stress and anxiety.
I was afraid of being wrong and I was terrified of failure, and in the height of what I now refer to as my I Hate Journalism and I Want to Change My Major Crisis, I opened up a WordPress account and began typing.
I started a blog so I could remind myself of what it felt like to be 11 years old, pouring my unedited thoughts and plots onto sheets of notebook paper for no other reason than because it made me happy. I didn’t intend to pick a niche or develop a following that extended beyond my mom and dad (even though they are my most loyal subscribers!).
I simply wanted to write.
One year later, I’m still no Lauren Conrad or Casey Neistat– I’m not internet famous by any stretch of the imagination and the revenue I generate from my blog (exactly $0.00) isn’t quite enough to support a lavish lifestyle of frivolous travel.
But one year ago, I couldn’t have fathomed getting my palms read by a complete stranger, rappelling down a five-story building or any of the other adventures that I’ve written about in the last 366 days.
I never dreamed that I would be getting paid to shoot and edit video– two passions of mine that I would happily do for absolutely nothing in return. (Future employers: Please disregard this. I enjoy getting paid to shoot video, even if it is just minimum wage.) Truthfully, I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that BuzzFeed published one of my videos.
Two months ago I still couldn’t justify splurging on a camera, yet I’m now the proud owner of a new Canon EOS 80D– I purchase that I never would have made had I decided to drop everything and switch my major to education.
Life is pretty grand.
To anyone and everyone who has ever taken a moment out of their day to like, share or even glance at my blog posts: Thank you. While I can ramble on for pages as I describe the beauty of a sunset or a cringe-worthy middle school memory, I am having a difficult time finding the right words to explain how much it means to know that there’s at least a handful of people who care to read what I have to write.
To anyone who is currently experiencing similar doubts about pursuing their passions: Trust me when I say that you should stick with it. I owe many, many people a great deal of gratitude for encouraging me to stick with journalism, and I can only hope that I can inspire others to do the same.