Sometimes I find myself pondering, how did I come to where I am today? As I take in the surroundings of my two-bedroom apartment in the heart of Mankato, Minnesota, it all seems too good to be true. So I’ve decided to write out an autobiography of sorts, to explain the journey of point A to point B.
In ’87, the golden year that brought us Dirty Dancing and Prozac, I was born in a D.C. hospital to an attorney and a White House correspondent. The city proved too much for my young parents and their ginger litter, so when I was just three years old, we packed up for the Midwest and ended up in Madison.
My school years were really nothing special. It’s not always easy to make friends as a gap-toothed, pale nerd, but luckily, by the end of junior high, I had braces and had grown to be 5’10”. Nothing but smooth sailing from there.
When it came time to pick a college, I settled on Minnesota State University, Mankato. I tell people that I wanted a different experience from growing up in Madison while paying in-state tuition. That’s kind of true; the full story is that I was lazy and applied three places, and of the two that accepted me, I only kind of liked one.
The next few years were not what I expected. My dream of being a lawyer, one I had since the first time I saw Sam Waterston on Law and Order (what a dreamboat), was soon dashed when I realized I was terrible at school. Two and a half years later, I had little to show for my time besides a dismal GPA and higher alcohol tolerance.
It was time for a change. As any upper-middle class college student in the throws of an existential crisis would do, I decided to backpack through Europe. One of my best friends and I said goodbye to college and hello to adventure.
For three months, we traveled to 15 cities in 10 countries throughout western Europe. We stayed with locals, took in the culture and did everything that would rightly label us “ugly Americans.”
This trip changed my life in two significant ways. The first, in order to fulfill the cliche, was to “find myself.” Sadly, it’s true. This made me really see who I was, who I wanted to be, how little I actually knew about the world and if I really put my mind to it…there’s more, but it’s all the same nonsensical “profound” gibberish.
The second was meeting David. In an effort to keep this short, he and I met in Barcelona. We kept in touch after parting ways, and a month later, my friend and I stayed with him in England (oh, he’s British, by the way) where, against all our better judgment, we decided to start a trans-Atlantic relationship.
When I got home in the summer of ’08, I had an exciting opportunity. I had worked as a sports stringer at the local paper in Mankato, and I was offered an internship as a staff writer. It was there I realized that I knew what I wanted to be – a journalist. I had come from a line of journalists – my grandfather owned a newspaper and my father was a reporter for 20 years – so naturally I was advised against it. Sorry smart career choices, maybe I’ll see you in a few years when I want to make money.
So with a clear head and a goal I could not be swayed from, I was back to school with a vengeance. It turned out I need some help with my ADHD, which no one was really surprised by.
Since then, three years have gone by. I embraced my nerd-self and did pretty well school. The boyfriend and I are not only still together, but actually living together. To make yet another long story short, he decided to give up socialized medicine and decent beer to move to the U.S. to be with me. What a guy, right? While looking for a job in the Midwest to be close to me, he was offered a job in New York City. Would you want to move there? he asked. Geeletmethink, YES!
And so, with one internship short of graduation, I decided to move out to New York to get that internship, break into the biz, be with David and live in the most exciting city in the world. Not too bad, all in all. I got the internship at a top-notch place called Women’s eNews, which was brilliant but unfortunately came to an end.
And that’s my life in a nutshell. From a young curly-haired girl in Wisconsin wanting to be a powerful lawyer, to a twenty-something who instead wants a job in the totally solid newspaper business in the most expensive city in the country. Nothing can stop me now!