Thursday, July 23, 2009

When New York Calls

Last week I started calling New York fashion magazine editors to ask about pitching stories. You don't want to send the wrong pitch to the wrong person, and there may be a particular format they want. I called three places, leaving messages with two and talking to one. 1 out of 3 ain't bad, so I was happy.

As I'm in a left-turn lane, my phone rings. Thanks to Sprint, my phone tells me it's New York calling. I answer. An editor from a major fashion magazine is on the other end, ready with names to give me. I see a Post-It in my car as I scramble for a pen and try to be delightful and professional as I'm driving through an intersection. I write down (very poorly, the damn pen would hardly work) names of editors who would accept my story pitches. I proceed to ask what their email addresses might be, giving the example of what the publishing company is. This would have worked, had I said the correct publishing company name. The editor corrects me and I respond as if I just offended the freaking Queen of England with many I'm Sorrys and "I knew that, I've just been in touch with more than one company." Editor laughs and assures me it's no problem. Editor gives me the correct email addresses and wishes me luck. I thank editor profusely for returning my call and hang up.

After making a few more notes to myself (all while driving, mind you) and accidentally honking my car horn at people, I put the phone down. Then I realize, wow. I called New York, and New York actually called me back.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happy Anniversary

As of July 18, I have now lived in Florida for one year. Here is what I've learned about Florida and myself since jumping on a plane just 12 months ago.

~My favorite beach is Clearwater.
~If you live here, you are on everyone else's spring break or family vacation the entire months of March, April, and December.
~Disney is not my thing. It's just not.
~People here are...different. I've dated, I've gone out downtown, and I work here. And people are crazy wherever you go.
~Wearing a tie isn't necessary.
~Linen suits are supposedly ok.
~In the community I work in, there are people working so hard every day to make it better. That's pretty cool.
~It seems to me that being a workaholic is weird.
~I am capable of jumping on a plane and making it work.
~I miss my family, which is something I never thought I'd say.
~I miss having close friends within driving distance.
~I know my way around here, but that doesn't mean I like driving here. Tourists are nuts.
~I also know that we need the tourists because that's a huge part of Florida's income. I could still do without them.
~I'm accepting the fact that Florida is not the place for me.

This has been an enlightening year and a good experience for me thus far. As my priorities are changing, so are my wants and needs. As a 20-something, how long does it take to realize what makes you happy and actually act on it?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Wake-Up Call.

I've made some not-great decisions in my lifetime. It's to be expected as a human. Camo-jeans, frat parties, waiting until the last minute to study for a test, or choosing to purchase Ray Ban sunglasses instead of saving money for groceries: all of these are a sampling of the silly things I've done as a young adult (except the jeans, those were 6th grade). And I'm here to admit today that I've driven after having a drink or two. We're talking alcoholic beverages. And yes, there have been a couple instances whenI had no business getting behind the wheel, but did it anyway. These were only a couple instances, but still inexcusable. Before you start judging, my guess is that you or someone you know has done the exact same thing. I'm not telling you this so that you can tell me how dumb I've been because I know. In fact, I knew immediately afterward how stupid it was. I'm telling you this because I now am fully aware of the potential consequences for these actions.

With that being said, I'm here to tell you that drinking and driving will no longer be even close to an option for this girl. Not even 1 drink (which supposedly increases your chances of a car accident by up to 50%).

A 16-year-old girl was killed in Santa Fe last weekend, along with three of her friends, due to a drunk driver crashing into them. Four out of the five people in her car were killed instantly, including her, and the driver of their car is barely alive. The driver of the other vehicle walked away. He also has a DWI on his record already.

The girl I'm referring to is the daughter of a great family I grew up with in Illinois. I held her when she was born (July 4th, today is her birthday). All of us kids played when our moms wanted to get together. We visited them when they moved to New Mexico. We saw her mom last year when she came for a visit.

The news of this tragedy immediately brought shock. I couldn't speak. And when I did speak, it was pretty much me cursing like a sailor. Then the tears came. I couldn't be in my apartment alone and everyone I talked to that night and the next day could barely understand this story because I was talking through tears.

Typically I don't like to share this much emotion via the Internet, but I think this deserves attention. Even though I've made some really unfortunate decisions, I'm ok. I haven't hurt anyone else. This guy's decision took 4 lives in a matter of minutes. Am I lucky that it's never happened to me? Maybe. Or there's a guardian angel giving me X amount of chances to be stupid. Either way, this was my wake up call this week. It's been an emotional roller coaster and I thank my friends for dealing with my instability.

Expressing emotion through writing is an avenue I thought I'd take to try to deal with this. So, I figured sharing her story with you would help me overcome my sadness and grief while maybe providing you readers some insight into what happens when you make stupid decisions.

Can I do anything about the decisions I've made? No. Can I change how I act in the future? I plan to.

And click here for the article.

We were lucky to have known you and will never forget you. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family.