I haven’t really breached the surface of my career. I feel lucky to be employed doing what I want to do in a market that’s undeniably competitive and difficult to penetrate. I enjoy the freedom I have to write this blog and freelance occasionally, and that while it is a small contribution to the world, it is my own, and I stand by it happily. I’m young and I see my future as limitless and ripe with opportunities and chances that I can’t even imagine, but will shape my life in ways I’ll never understand.
Though I’m pretty set on the path I’d like to take – I don’t have tunnel vision so severely that I would never think of doing something else. I’m not blind to the fact that sometimes the things you least expect or the choices you never thing you’ll face, are the ones that fundamentally change you into the you you’re meant to be.
Part of the reason I feel confident that I could sincerely do anything I put my mind to is because I’ve learned not to define myself by what I do. Sure, editing and writing are a huge part of my day-to-day and pastimes that not only bring me joy but money, too. But I’m not the only talented writer. And I make mistakes as an editor (I’m sure there are dozens across this blog but I forgive myself, I hope you do, too). The beautiful truth about the career I’ve chosen is that even if it wasn’t my career – I could still write. I would still seek out ways to be published. I could be anywhere in the world and have a byline in New York. They aren’t really mutually exclusive of one another.
Where I live, what I do, and who I am isn’t dependent on being an author, a journalist, or a blogger – if that was the case, WordPress and the other platforms wouldn’t be successful. Online magazines wouldn’t attract readers from all regions of the world and no one would lust after the rare travel writer who is paid to have lavish globetrotting adventures, dining at the finest, and staying in the room with the best view and service.
I’m not afraid of not being a writer or not having the dream job I’ve wanted for literally decades now. In fact, when it comes to my career or my ability to string together sentences, I have no doubts. Being a writer is part of who I am, but not the entirety of what makes me function. After all, if a writer leads no life, if they don’t read others, if they don’t find new people and experiences to observe, if they don’t make themselves into a modern-day anthropologist of some subject matter – what would there be to write about anyway? I’d imagine their stories would be quite boring.
Perhaps as boring as I feel my blog is becoming.
I’m not looking for compliments or reassurance – I know a good thing when it’s good and I know a once-sweet thing when it turns sour. In a lot of ways, this space has been a place for me to handle my own identity crisis as a 20-something. It has been a place for me to answer the tough questions in my own language, on my own terms, and in my own time. And now, over six months later, with less than six to go, I find myself at a crossroads.
I started this blog unhappy, dissatisfied with my life, and unable to enjoy my life as a single gal. I was not a mess but I wasn’t together, I wasn’t closed off, but I wasn’t incredibly open. I wasn’t syncing as well as I wanted to with the rhythm of the streets and New York was still idealized instead of realized.
But that’s not exactly who I am now, on a rainy May 4 afternoon, frantically writing this post while attempting to eat a leftover burrito, chat on Gchat, and enjoy my lunch break before getting back to work. No, this Lindsay is different.
She’s not that much older, but she’s wiser. She isn’t exactly single, but she isn’t consumed by it. She has found comfort in the ways that matter: in her relationship status, in her city, and most importantly, in herself. She ventures into the heartbeat of buildings and the people and the sounds that surround her, and instead of worrying about money or worrying about moving up or worrying about things that don’t quite matter right now – she’s settled in today. She’s found a confidence in herself that isn’t defined by links and published posts, by boys and boo-hooing over them, by being the most beautiful or the most sought after.
So what’s next? What now? With still four more steps to go and a personal commitment to write daily for a year – where do you turn a niche blog when your niche changes? Or expands? When what you love to do, who you want to love, and where you love to be are all working in a loving cohesion with one another, where do you seek more love?
Or is love really the answer to all of those questions left unanswered in my heart? Or do I have that many questions that pester me at this moment, anyway? Or maybe it is just one simple question that’s plagued me for months now: why does it become difficult to write about love on a blog about dating and self-love, when you’re dating and you’ve found love within yourself? Shouldn’t it be easier?
Could it be that the best fodder comes from…pain? Struggle? Outright, irrational despair? How do you channel peace to get your groove back?