I’d been fighting fate for most my life. The only thing I’d ever seen my parents “write” was a check. They were born analytics; my sister too. I was always the odd one out. When I did math the numbers would swirl together like butterflies and then disappear. And when anything happened, good or bad, I’d write about it. I still do.
Image from pinterest.com.
I came to Wake Forest, a business school. I struggled through Economics; I was the only one who brought a pink, yellow, green and orange highlighter to every test. I thought in color. I still do. But I never made higher than a B-.
In my English and Journalism classes, I earned A’s. I began to write for Her Campus and was promoted to Executive Editor. Reluctantly, I declared English as my major. It tasted bitter. Words I’d never heard aloud somehow haunted me: “Print is dead.”
I added an Entrepreneurship minor, because it sounded business-like.
Last semester I started applying for jobs, and none of them involved writing. In January, I made it to a third round interview with a major IT corporation. Things were going well until my interviewer said this: “Now I don’t want you to take this the wrong way, but, from your resume, it seems like you should be a writer. Why do you want to sell software?”
A bubble in my chest swelled, and then burst. Who did I think I was fooling? I choked out an answer to his question, but neither of us was convinced. I hung up, eyes boiling with tears. I felt stripped. Naked. Angry. Yet also, awake. Here was the truth: I didn’t want the job. I never wanted the job. I was a writer, and everyone around me could see it except me.
Image from etc.usf.edu.
I decided to pause my job search and instead started blogging more. The words I’d stifled for the past six months flew from my fingertips. I’ve been blogging here, and on Her Campus.
I switched my schedule and joined a Magazine Writing class. I told my parents that I wanted to be a writer and they replied, “It’s about time.” The more honest I am with myself, the better I feel. As I go forward, I will continue to fight. But with pen in hand, this time I’m fighting for my fate, and not against it.
Last Monday, I connected with a woman who worked at Hearst Magazines; we chatted by phone. “Tell me a little bit about you,” she started.
“My name is Lauren Friezo,” I said, lips stretching into a smile, “and I’m a writer.”
**This article is a modified version of a piece written for my Magazine Writing class. The form is modeled after the Aha! Moments series in O, The Oprah Magazine.