OK, where to start? Let’s start here: This post will be a bit of a departure from the norm. Although I don’t post all that often, a lot of people keep an eye on this blog. Clients, prospective clients, and many others, too. So we’ve got part update, part essay, part musing about the future here, and a whole lot of adverbs ending in -ly because I’m feeling them today. Got it? Good. Let’s get started.
Some of you are already aware and some are not, so here are the broad strokes: The past year or so of my life has been complete and utter chaos for a variety of reasons. There’s no need to go into the particulars on that but suffice to say that it is all culminating in some absolutely enormous life changes for me. And that’s why, despite the fact that I said I post or two ago that I’d be posting more photography, I haven’t yet. I will, but lately I’ve just not had the time to work on art stuff.
Well, actually, that’s not quite true. The image at the header of this post is a quick and dirty color correction of one of the skyline panoramas I took with my phone on my recent trip to Kansas City.
Anyway, it has been extremely hard, it has been incredibly painful, it has been very rewarding—there’s just a lot wrapped up in all of this. An emotional rollercoaster in every sense with some of the highest highs and lowest lows. To the people who have been so incredibly patient with me as I navigate all of this—you know who you are—I am eternally grateful. And for the rest of you who may be wondering why I sometimes take longer than usual to respond to emails, well, the short answer is that I’ve had an awful lot on my plate here lately.
So let’s begin at the end. Where all of this is heading. Today is the day to make the announcement official, and to get all of you on the same page. Today is also the day to warn you that for the next couple of months, I may become even more erratic, unfortunately.
And that is because I am moving from Central Ohio, the place where I have spent the largest share of my life, to Kansas City, a place where I have spent…roughly 72 hours of my life.
Which is maybe a little bit panic inducing when you break it down by the numbers like that, but let’s set that aside in favor of the details:
So it’s going to be a bumpy ride, but here are the main takeaways:
So to all of you who provide me with all these wonderful assignments? Keep ‘em coming—I’ve got you covered. You know how I am. I always do what I say I’m going to do, and while things might slow me down at times, I never stop. 😉
Now, in no particular order, let’s dig into other news and updates.
My Current Career Path
This is where things get complicated. So, to pull all of this off? I have been working absolutely insane hours not only on the move and life stuff, but also to build out my business and thus my income. Along the way, my career has taken a couple of super cool left turns, business has grown exponentially, and I anticipate even more growth and evolution in the future.
Lots will stay the same, too, so let’s start with that. I am and always will be predominately a lifestyle, home, and garden writer with auxiliary focuses on construction, engineering, the environment, and agriculture. These things are my roots and my writing foundations.
However, lately, my career has also veered into the high-tech sector. Non-disclosure agreements prevent me from saying too much about this, but I can tell you that I am currently writing for some of the biggest tech names in the industry. Microsoft, Lenovo, Cisco, AutoDesk, and a couple of others, to be exact. I find the new subject material thoroughly fascinating, and you’d better believe that I intend to expand into this sector even more.
In fact, I believe the move to Kansas City will help facilitate this. It is, after all, one of the fastest growing tech cities in the United States. And where there are lots of startups and tech jobs? There are lots of opportunities for me to explore.
Shameless plug: If you happen to be a tech company in KC with a need for a writer to round out your marketing campaign, hi, nice to meet you! Reach out via my contact page to discuss details.
I’ve also started working with some incredible talent agencies, which have landed me some amazing opportunities, though I’m not quite at liberty to discuss these just yet. Stay tuned for more details on that.
My Career Trajectory
On this front, let’s start with the small stuff first.
I’m still slowly expanding into the beauty and cosmetics realm—though admittedly, this has been slow. Part of it right now is, my massive cosmetics collection is mostly packed and ready to move apart from an “Insta on the fly” kit. And another part of it is, I straight up haven’t had time to spend the hours I used to spend covering myself in glittery stuff and researching skincare products. However, this is still an area for future expansion potential.
Next up, we’ve got the potential for travel or destination writing. This is just a nebulous thought right now. I will have the leisure to do more travel if I so desire—and I might because why not? Then again, I’m also a
hermit homebody at heart, which means that even though I may occasionally dream of going to cool places, it’s also very hard to pry my out of my home when I could stay put where all my toys are.
Still, even if I don’t end up doing a lot of travel, I could still become a travel writer. It all comes down to Kansas City again. National Geographic named KC one of the world’s top, most exciting travel destinations for 2019, the only American city to receive this designation—and with good reason. You don’t always hear a whole lot about KC as opposed to, say, NYC or Los Angeles, but this city really does have it all.
Of all the major cities I’ve been in? It’s by far the cleanest, most friendly, most well organized, accessible, easy to navigate place I’ve ever seen. There are unparalleled green spaces, some of the largest and most beautiful parks in the world, museums to compete with the best of the best, an amazing music scene that you can’t find outside of the very biggest of the world’s cities. They call it the “Paris of the Plains,” and that’s truly not far off the mark.
So there’s a good chance I’ll end up writing about KC as a destination. Why not? I’ll be right there, in the heart of it all, thoroughly enjoying Kansas City barbecue, the First Fridays in West Bottoms, the museums, the jazz, and everything else—COVID-19 restrictions permitting, of course! And what a fun way to learn about my new home, no? Writing about it as I settle in and get to really know the place.
Now for the big piece of news regarding my career trajectory. I am officially a member of Kansas City Barbell and have been for almost a month. I’ve kept quiet on this because I wanted to make sure I loved it as much as I thought I would—and it turns out, I love it even more than that. Working remotely with a really great coach, having fun, learning lots and getting stronger! Quite surprised by how much stronger in such a short time, actually. Gains haven’t come this fast for a long, long time. Seriously, click on that link above and check them out. Can’t wait to be there for real.
What has this got to do with writing, you ask? Well, powerlifting is a passion of mine and has been for quite a while, to the point that it’s one of my biggest dreams to compete someday. And where the vast majority of my writing is concerned? It comes not only from solid research, but also my own personal experiences. I write about construction, for example, because I worked in construction for nearly a decade. That’s been problematic with lifting because much as I love it and have done it for so long, I’m completely self-taught. Joining KC Barbell equates to me learning more, becoming more experienced, and building a solid platform from which I can write about one of my own personal joys.
A Note About Empowerment
It’s getting late and this is running on long enough, so here I am veering straight into the essay portion without much of a transition! But real quick, I wanted to drop some words about empowerment.
Because the past year of my life, that’s what it has really been about. Again, I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty because it neither the time nor the place. Suffice to say, however, that it’s been hard. Easily the most painful year of my life and in some ways, the most exciting. In all ways, the most formative. As I said, an emotional rollercoaster.
A friend of mine once said, “Don’t let your dreams be dreams.” And I will immediately spoil those pretty-sounding words by telling you that he was totally referring to that Shia LaBeouf meme when he said it because we were talking about something silly at the time.
Still, there’s truth to it. You can’t let your dreams be dreams. That was one of the big awakenings I had this year. I’ve always known that I had one life to live, and that it was my duty to make the best that I could out of it. But somewhere along the line, I stopped fighting for dreams and just started to simply exist.
Not anymore. I’m back in the fight now, and as I said, it’s been hard, the hardest experience of my life. But I can’t regret it. Even the pain has done me good.
I have another friend, a fellow writer and a really great guy who has known some serious adversity in his life. He and I once spent most of an afternoon on the phone talking about “do or die” moments and how those moments force us to become empowered, to fight like hell, to rise to challenges, and to be the best that we can be.
Challenge yourself. Take risks. Throw caution to the wind and do the thing that everyone else believes is totally insane. It might hurt. You might lose. While I’ve had a lot of successes, I’ve also lost big this year. Win or lose, though, every bit builds character, strength and confidence. Walk through hell and come out the other side feeling ready to face anything because what you have already faced was worse than the road ahead.
Challenge yourself and take risks if for no other reason than to learn, grow and become more capable. Fighting to improve yourself, your life, and to chase your dreams—it’s the truest path to empowerment I know.
Oh, and because WordPress keeps cropping my featured image, here’s the uncropped version. As I said, it was just a quick pano with my phone, so it’s not as sharp as it could have been had I set up my camera on a tripod and done some stitching, but I like it!