I had a co-worker over at my house the other day, she and I were working on photographing Christmas ornaments. It was really fun. I am so grateful to work with people I sincerely love. The Magazine is more than a place I work it, it's in many ways a family, too.
I've written before about how I felt God's hand in guiding me towards working at a publication versus becoming a newscaster. I've also decided to share how I ended up at the specific publication that I work at, because that's a good story, too.
Once I figured out I wanted to work at a magazine, really late, the spring of my senior year I felt daunted by getting in. The metro area at the time had three larger magazines and countless smaller ones. While at my parent's one afternoon I picked up a copy of The Magazine and realized that I needed to work there, not at any other publication, there. I felt God's gentle encouragement.
Before I could really focus on why this one and not the other I was off running badgering to get into the editorial internship program. I knew the odds were really, really stacked against me. I wasn't a journalism major. I was one of several hundred people who applied. I couldn't devote full time because I had to nanny to cover my expenses. However, I was determined.
I applied several times, I think three times, to the internship over six months. I never heard back. One day when I was working one of my many part time jobs, at Melly, a customer came in looking for a dress to wear to her wedding. She began chatting with me and we struck up a conversation. I told her how much I wanted to work at The Magazine, but I knew it was difficult to get into. She happened to know one of the publishers and said she would put in a good name for me. She took my phone number and left the shop.
A few days later she called me, "I have to tell you" she started "when I met you I wanted to help you. You have such a light around you, and I know you are special" (go ahead and roll your eyes.) I believed she was being genuine. I was honored she saw goodness in me. "I spoke to the publisher and they would like to interview you." I was ecstatic.
I prepared a giant portfolio of writing work I had done and decided to include photography as well. I didn't know if that would be a good idea or not, but I felt compelled to. I had heard mixed reviews on bringing in examples of other kinds of work you do to interviews. Still, I prepped some portraits and detail photographs I had taken in the last year.
The day of my interview dawned. I spoke with two editors who weren't much older than me. I was incredibly nervous, but felt well spoken and prepared. It lasted quickly and I made my way home, sort of skipping the whole way.
A few days passed and I jumped each time the phone rang. One afternoon while at Melly I heard my phone go off and I ran to answer it. My excitement slowly drifted to disappointment. I hadn't been chosen for the internship, the editors felt like I didn't have enough writing experience. I said I understood and slowly hung up the phone. Of course I cried. I was so excited, and it had felt right, what was going on?
As I drove home a bad day was made worse when my 1993 toyota started to stall. Thankfully I wasn't on the highway, but on a quiet, suburban street. I managed to pull the car over and yes, I cried again.
By the time I made it home, several hours later, I was exhausted and I felt so defeated. I e-mailed the kind woman who had spoken to the publisher on my behalf, Brenda, to let her know the sad news. I sulked in my small bedroom with the light streaming through the windows thinking, this just can't get any worse.
What I wasn't aware of, is in that storm, God was at work.