Saturday, April 30, 2016

Some news

Warning: Very long text post ahead.

When you were younger, what did dream of becoming when you grew up? It’s probably no surprise that my aspirations varied greatly; I bounced from nun to doctor to writer to astronaut as a child. As I got older, I realized that I had a talent for writing and stumbled blindly into the world of journalism. In college, I discovered my passion: telling other people’s stories. I loved peeling back a person’s layers, getting at what they didn’t think was worth examining and showing the world just how lovely it was.

After college, I was fortunate enough to elbow my way into the world of regional magazine publishing. I was doing what I loved, even though I had to juggle three jobs to make it work, and I was busy but mostly content.

Then the magazine got bought out. My colleagues were getting laid off or jumping ship in droves, so I seized a lifesaver of my own in the form of a communications office for a government agency. After a few years, I was making more money than I ever would have imagined making before my 30s, doing a job that I was quite good at and that made decent use of my journalism degree.

And I was restless.

I dreaded waking up Monday mornings. And Tuesday mornings, and every other weekday mornings. I lived for the weekend, when I felt like my time was my own. I found myself calling off sick because I just couldn’t stomach the thought of being a cubicle drone that day. I used my vacation days liberally, desperate for any excuse to escape my life. I accepted that this was my normal, my life: Living each day as a countdown to 5 p.m., viewing my job only as a means to an end, a necessary evil that must be endured in order to live the rest of my life the way I wanted.

You, blog readers, can probably always guess when something big is happening in my life. I quietly disappear from my corner of the internet, either because I’m simply overwhelmed and need to “do” one less thing or because it’s the only way I’ll keep secret information from spilling out in a public forum. Such is the case these last few weeks.

I woke up. A series of perfectly timed events jarred me out of my complacency, which I realized was no way to live a life, and I took an enormous risk. It’ll be quite a while before I can be sure that it pays off, but I’m fairly certain it will.

I’m leaving my cushy government job for a gritty, difficult job with less material payoff but far greater job satisfaction. And starting in May, I’ll be the editor of my very own magazine. I’ll be the one-woman show running Columbus Weddings, the publication I’ve been freelancing for these last several years (and the one I was an assistant editor for right after college, back when it was called Columbus Bride). I never could give up my ties to that publication, even when I was making enough money to not need the freelance income. I feel like that has to mean something.

I’ll also be editor for several ancillary publications of the main parent magazine, Columbus Monthly. It puts out numerous niche products a year, from Best Driving Vacations and City Guide to special feature sections on the Columbus-area suburbs and several small advertising-driving features.

It’s going to be a rocky few months; I’m going to hit the ground running with two big projects from day one. I don’t know what that’s going to mean for Verbal Mélange in the long run; but for now, I ask for your patience as I adjust and keep things pretty low-key around these parts. I’ll see you on the other side :)

(Also, because I can’t skip my attribution: The quote in my post title is from Mary Oliver’s poem, The Summer Day, in case you were wondering.)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Weekending: Virginia Beach & Colonial Williamsburg

Hey there ladies and gents (or let's face it, probably mostly ladies), I haven't disappeared! Things have been crazy lately, it tends to be when I'm not posting much. I'll get into all of that in a few days, I swear.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share some photos from the trip I took last weekend. Matt was working in Virginia Beach for the week, helping open a new store, and I decided that was a good enough excuse for a road trip. I drove halfway, to Roanoke, VA, Friday after work. Emily lives there with her boyfriend, Will, and I crashed with them for the night. We all got up early Saturday and headed down to Virginia Beach. Matt ended up working all weekend, but the three of us had a lot of fun exploring the area. Sunday afternoon we started back to Roanoke, but stopped in Colonial Williamsburg for dinner on the way. Will's parents gave us a little tour of the area, which was about the most adorable thing ever.


It was pretty chilly on the beach, with the wind, but we saw some surfers from the pier nonetheless.


I was dying over the kitschy sea life taxidermy. I didn't buy this guy, but I did get a little blowfish with googly eyes and a straw hat to hang from my rearview mirror. Cam promptly ate it. (Don't worry, she's fine.)



We toured the old Cape Henry lighthouse, which was the first federally funded lighthouse in the country. It's not in use anymore, but the newer black-and-white one nearby is. We toured the inside of the old one.



Would've been a great shot without the graffiti. Damn kids!



Colonial Williamsburg was so, so pretty and quaint in the best way. We were there just before sunset and got some amazing light as we were exploring.





I recently won a new Panasonic DMC-FC1000 bridge camera, and I took it with me to test it out. I thought it might be a nice camera to take on vacations and trips, instead of lugging (and risking) my Nikon and a few lenses. It's a nice little camera, can go fully manual, and it's super lightweight. But I felt like it just had a couple of limitations that I couldn't get past. It does do fantastic macro shots, though.

I took Monday off to drive the rest of the way home, making a pit stop in good old Athens for lunch on my way. It was a great weekend :)

Now I have to dive back into another crazy week. I'm hoping to get my 52 Week Challenge photos posted soon (I haven't fallen behind on that yet), as well as some good news to share with you!