We are surrounded by story. - Alice McDermott
Along with many 2009 graduates (specifically Communication graduates!) I found myself searching for a career path but stumbling upon multiple part-time jobs instead. I was on the marketing team at my parents company, Williams Kitchen & Bath, was framing artwork at Lafontsee Galleries and managing social media for the East Lansing Art Festival. Although at times it felt disheartening to live a mix-matched life I was having a blast soaking up a variety of skills and stories from the talented individuals that I was surrounded by. I found myself reflecting on my drive home about the many things I was learning each day and decided to start a blog aptly titled "You Learn Something New Every Day." I loved writing, and since I was living alone in Grand Haven at the time, I had a fair amount of time to reflect.
As life moved forward and I began working for the Center for Community Leadership my free time filled up. I can't solely blame time constraints on why I stopped writing though. If I'm being honest, I was struggling how to articulate the many things I was learning. I was no longer just discovering random facts, I was spending every day challenged by community wide issues and opportunities. As an organization we focused on systems thinking and the idea of working through some of those major issues on a public facing blog felt a little overwhelming. At times I would still pop on the blog to write an update but I felt the only way I was able to work through so much of what I was exposed to was through deep discussions.
Writing has always been an important part of my life but I think it's natural to have phases, sometimes even years, where in order to be truly self-reflective it must be private. That's what has been the case for me over the past few years specifically. Going forward, though, I'm hoping to do a better job of sharing my story, if for no other reason, then to keep it somewhere. So that every word isn't just a deleted email, a text message swiped right, a disappeared snap. I always used to think that it would be interesting to look back at my own journals from middle-school or high-school when I have kids of my own to help me relate to that time in my life. Perhaps I'll also be able to do the same with my late-20's. Or (more likely) I'll just keep writing things down for the sake of Kelly and my mom. Either way, it's my therapy, and right now: I need that.