girl from the north country

Month: January, 2013

On New Adventures.

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Sometimes life moves so slowly, inching along, and you feel like you can’t move forward no matter how hard you try — like you’re stuck in a fog and you’re not sure what your next step should be. And then one day, when you least expect it, the sun bursts through the clouds and suddenly everything is clear, your path is before you. It turns out all of that muddled, over-thought, anxiety-ridden period in your life was just a time of patience and waiting for the thing that you are most meant to do.

Last week was a big one in my life for several reasons, not least of which because of my new position with Thirty Two Magazine. Thirty Two is a recent start-up out of Minneapolis; a quarterly print magazine, it is “Minnesota’s forward-looking culture and ideas magazine with a literary edge.” This beautiful publication basically embodies the kind of journalism I’m currently interested in, and I’m so pleased to join the editorial team as a publishing assistant. I met with Katie, the founder and editor, last week and she offered me the position, just days after I applied (this stands in stark contrast to the many, many applications I’ve sent out with absolutely no response). I started this week and I am so excited for what this opportunity has in store for me. It’s just a part-time gig for now, so I’m still working over at Dunn Bros, but I see huge potential in this magazine and I can’t wait to see what’s in store. Everything just fell into place with this position, and it feels like it is absolutely, exactly where I’m supposed to be right now. It was so worth the many months of waiting to find this opportunity.

So, you should all go out and buy a copy (you can find the stocklist here) and see what it is I will be contributing to. Some of my work will be editorial, and some will be on the marketing and distribution side, all of which I’m very excited to do.

A bit more about Thirty Two:

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Book Club: Wuthering Heights

So, I’ve been trying to read Wuthering Heights for a couple of months now, and I have to be honest, it’s been a challenge. I keep putting it on hold whenever I find a book that’s more interesting, which normally I would feel bad about, but with Wuthering Heights it’s almost a relief to take a break. You see, so far (and I’m about half-way through) there’s really nothing too enjoyable about the storyline. It just trudges along. And quite frankly, I don’t like any of the characters. It’s pretty tough to like a book and want to read it when you dislike everyone you’re reading about. But it’s a classic and I feel like I should be loving it! So, tell me, have you read Wuthering Heights before? Does it get better? Is it worth persevering to the end? I hate quitting a book in the middle, but I’m feeling awfully tempted with this one.

I read Jane Eyre two years ago, which was difficult to get into, but once I got past the first 60 or so pages I was absolutely hooked and it is now one of my favorite books. So I was hoping this other Bronte novel would be the same way and just keep getting better. But with half of the book behind me I’m starting to lose hope. What shall I do?

I have loved exactly one part of the books so far, and that is what Catherine says about Heathcliff: “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” Now that’s some beautiful writing. I only wish the rest were as lovely!

Do not let your fire go out.

Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in the lonely frustration for the life you deserved but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desire can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.

– Ayn Rand

The city mouse and the country mouse.

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“In the woods we return to reason and faith.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am most definitely, as they say, a city mouse. I love the bustle and life that can be found in a city. There are so many opportunities and events, great local restaurants and coffee shops. And city lights at night? Well, they just take my breath away, no matter how many times I’ve seen them before. Even the cold winter is more bearable when you’re walking among the tall buildings, surrounded by strangers. There’s something magical about it to me. And yet, there’s a little part of me that stays silent when I’m in the city. This little part of me doesn’t come alive until I’m hours away, surrounded by trees, lakes and (ideally) mountains. There is this part of me that got a taste for the wilderness as a child, when my family used to go to camping in the Cascades in Oregon where my grandparents owned land. We were surrounded by trees, would go on day-long hikes through mountain trails and stick our feet in the creek that ran past our tents if we got too hot. That is rest for my weary soul, in a way that the city cannot offer.

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“Walk with the dreamers.

“Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you, to leave this world better than when you found it.”

– Wilfred Peterson

Book Club: Best of 2012

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One feature I’d like to add to the blog is sharing what books I’m currently reading. Curling up with a good book is one of my favorite pass-times, and I would love to chat about what I’m reading and how it’s influencing me and hopefully hear from you about what you’re reading! It’s always been my dream to be in a book club, and though I haven’t found one in real life (because, really, how does one find a book club?) I figured I might as well start one right here! So tell me, what books are you currently reading and enjoying?

Since graduating, I’ve had so much more time to read for pleasure, and I’ve been loving it. I read some really great books this past year, so I figured that I’d get our little book club started by sharing my favorites from 2012:

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Be fearless.

Be fearless.

If you make only one resolution this year, let it be to live boldly. You control this moment: Rather than cautiously test the water, dive straight into life with freeing abandon. Imagine the person you want to be and the life you want to live, then simply commit to them. Believe in yourself. Embrace your beauty. Discover a new passion. And whatever you do, wherever you go, don’t be afraid to make a splash.

On beginning again. Cheers.

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Happy New Year friends! What a year 2012 was, full of changes, transition and the great unknown. I graduated from college with a BA in Journalism (with absolutely no plans of what to do afterward). I interned at a newspaper over the summer. I did an editing job this fall and have written a couple of freelance articles. I got a job at Dunn Bros Coffee and learned to make a mean latte. I have made new friends. So many lovely people have entered my life who have been such an encouragement in this strange year of transition. I have cherished old friends, and seen many walk into new phases in their lives, whether that’s moving overseas, getting married, finding a grown-up job or having a baby. I took a spur-of-the-moment trip to New York City. I was in two weddings. I have asked questions, felt pain and peace. I’ve learned more about who I am and who I want to be.

There were times this year when I was so overwhelmed that I just wanted to run away. There were other times that I wanted the clock to stop so that I could savor a beautiful moment for just a little longer. It’s been a strange year of ups and downs as I took stock of my first 22 years and tried to find direction as I embark on an unknown trail — no longer are my days defined by class schedules, activities and homework assignments. It’s been interesting to figure out what a day looks like when I have to give it structure, when nothing dictates my schedule but me. Change is hard. I’ve never been so great with it. I like consistency and predictability. I dream big and crave adventure, yet the unknown kind of scares me (See previous post: This is not a new thing for me). I still don’t really have things figured out, but I have big hopes for 2013. This year is bound to surprise me because, frankly, my plans in it are few and the road is open before me. I didn’t write much in 2012, and my last few posts have been pretty introspective, but I’m aiming to give myself more time for this little space, to practice my writing and have a little fun. It’s good for me to get things out of my head. Just writing these words out give me hope for the future, and that’s something I definitely need.

So cheers to a new year, new plans, new surprises, new books, new jobs, new friends, new cities. And to cherishing all the old things in your heart, to knowing where you came from and what made you who you are. We’re going to have fun this year. We’re going to be inspired, challenged and daring. January 1 is really just another day, but for humans who so desperately need a little hope, it’s a way for us to begin again, to change what we aren’t satisfied with, to try something new. What are your hopes for this new year? I want to learn more discipline. I want to see new places. I want to join a book club. I want to give more of my time to those who need it. I want to learn to better express myself, not just on paper, but in person — to share my heart, be brave enough to confront things, to stand up for myself. I want to find a writing job. It’s going to be a good year, a year of dreaming and believing. I can feel it in my bones. Let’s enjoy it, shall we?

 

Photo: Source Unknown.