Good evening, ladies. I write to you this fine and chilly night from the soft cushions of my new couch in my new home in Birmingham, Alabama. The furniture and the address are not the only new things in my life right now. In fact, if I were to ask my year-ago self to observe my current existence, my life would be nearly unrecognizable.
Monday, December 7, 2009
You see, I've been on a whirlwind of life changes in the last six months. But, let me go a bit further back...
I'm from Alpharetta, Georgia and attended the grand ole University of Georgia for my undergraduate education in Magazine Journalism. I was a Young Life leader all through out college (and until very recently actually): an involvement that had a profound effect on my social, spiritual and ministerial development. It showed me an extremely Biblical model of relational evangelism. Sharing Jesus with people first means knowing them, having them know you, earning the right to be heard.
After graduating in 2007, I moved to Birmingham for an internship at Southern Progress Corporation, where I met the lovely (former) Miss Butterworth. We were insta-friends. I found her faith and wisdom to be such a steady switch from the treacherous waters of an internship in a new town. The adjustment from college was tough, but her friendship was a real blessing to me.
After working at SPC for about 9 months, I moved on to take a position as the editor of skirt! magazine. I had been an avid skirt! follower for years, and absolutely felt like I was fooling everyone into thinking I was qualified for the position that I assumed. I definitely "faked it" until I "made it." Gosh, what a learning experience.
For about a year and a half, I was the single editorial staff person for the Birmingham edition of the magazine. I was in charge of all local content, as well as marketing, promoting and social media stuff. It was a crash course in all things media. It was joyous, challenging, heart-wrenching, life-changing. Through the course of my time there, I interviewed hundreds of incredible people, and I truly think of them as some of my greatest teachers. I mean, really... what a dream to be able to have quality conversations with people for a living. I felt like I was truly just "introducing people to their neighbors," and it that part of the job was so life-giving. There were other parts of the job that were not so life-giving. It was real tough for me to feel chained to the desk, confined to the office hours and misunderstood by many of my managers. As much as I loved the job, there was a part of me that was relieved when it all came to a close.
All that said, the magazine folded this summer, leaving me a bit shell-shocked. For six years of my life, I had been working toward and in a certain career field. When it ended, my gut reaction was just to GET OUT of an industry that is changing dramatically. So, I began working at a coffee shop (my favorite one here), and delved into my other interest: letterpress printing.
With very little experience under my belt, I applied for and got a work-study position for the 8-week concentration at the Penland School of Crafts in Asheville, NC to take a course in letterpress under the instruction of a renowned artist/printer. It was a scary leap to make, as it required me to virtually drain my savings account, leave my source of income and take a step in a completely different direction.
But, I did it.
God taught me INVALUABLE lessons in the process...ones that I'm sure will leak out all over our discussions. I want to go into more detail about my two months there, but I think I've babbled on long enough. I've been back in Birmingham for about three weeks now, and I'm so thrilled to see His hands all over what has been happening.
I'm back at the coffee shop now, freelance writing and working part-time in a couple of print shops. My eventual hope is to have my own printing press and business. I'm learning peace and patience, however. I'm really in no rush. It is my true hope that I will be like the Proverbs 31 woman: able to laugh at the days to come.
In conclusion, I'm really excited to e-get to know you each, and to engage in what I anticipate being some really meaningful discussion. I have no doubt that this will be the beginning of something quite wonderful.