You know, the one you see in roller coaster ride photos, the one you see and think, “Man, poor girl. She looks like she’s in the middle of a root canal.”
Yep, that was me. Eyes squeezed shut, teeth clenched, sitting stiffly under the unyielding bar across my lap. It really stood out when everyone else around me was pictured with arms high and eyes open.
Not my proudest moments – and by moments, I do mean, moments. One particular day at Cedar Point I gave into youth group peer pressure and rode most of the roller coasters. I left a trail of pathetic portraits in my wake.
By contrast, “Risky” might as well be my middle name when it comes to my career so far. Er, or at least, “Unconventional.”
Five days after graduating college, I moved to Wyoming to take a job, sight unseen, as a full-time intern at a small daily newspaper. I was as green as they come, even after they took me on as a reporter.
Less than a year later, I had resigned – with no “next step” in place. What followed were a few months of job – and soul – searching.
I moved back to Ohio, only to turn around weeks later and move to western New Hampshire to work at another small daily newspaper. I had never been to New England, let alone New Hampshire.
My move into higher education communications probably qualified as a rational move, by comparison – seriously, I left work at 5 p.m.
Which is why I shouldn’t have been surprised that when an opportunity to roll up my sleeves and advise the college newspaper came along, I jumped at it.
Did I have any idea what I was getting myself into? Not really. Did it turn into one of the most rewarding experiences of my time in higher ed? Absolutely.
At the end of my first year of advising, my editors gave me a card (pictured above). On the front was a woman wearing a business suit, contorting herself backwards on a conference table. The inside read, “You really bent over backwards.”
I definitely felt like that woman on more than occasion; advising a school media organization of any kind is not a cake walk, by any means. But I found I enjoyed the process of working with the students, especially those passionate about being good communicators, ethical journalists and exceptional writers.
Now, I find myself in yet another transition. No full-time job for the time being. Not exactly a predictable course of action. If I’ve ever stepped out on faith, this is it.
Here’s the thing though. If I hadn’t said “yes” to any one of my career moves in the past seven years, I wouldn’t be where I am now: preparing to go to Kenya by the end of October. Is there a guarantee I’ll get there exactly when I plan to? Certainly not. But I am ready to push forward, believing that God is in control, and see what the next couple of months bring.
He has provided for me through so many twists and turns. Really, why would I start saying “no” now?