When I was in high school, I had an attic bedroom with hot pink, black, and lime green walls, and much of the surface was plastered with scraps of doodles and song lyrics, clippings from Rolling Stone, SPIN, and my personal favorite, Alternative Press. Oh, Alt Press, my old friend.
It wasn’t always my plan to go to college and enter the secondary education program; I made that decision only shortly after I was accepted, and it’s one I regret quite often to be honest. But this post isn’t about that; rather, it’s about the dream I’d harbored before that of signing up as a journalism major to work for a music magazine like Alt Press. I would reference their website for assignments in my high school journalism class and dream up elaborate scenarios in which I was out interviewing bands, writing up profiles on my favorites, and living this exciting life revolving around writing.
As you already know, that’s not how life turned out for me, because my seventeen-year-old self had her hopes crushed by a nitpicky journalism teacher who couldn’t be bothered to explain why he was repeatedly asking me to rewrite the articles I was working on and actually teach me something but instead just kept tweaking my focus to keep me out of his hair and from actually accomplishing a piece. (I’m not bitter. No, not at all. It’s only that I still remember fuming after each meeting we had to go over the articles I’d be working on as he would tell me to go at it from a completely different angle without explaining why. But I’m certainly not bitter, if that’s what you think.)
This is one of the things that I regret most days and don’t know how to change at this point, eight years after the fact. I still read issues of Alternative Press, now downloaded onto my tablet from the library rather than flipping through the glossy magazine pages of a subscription. I don’t cut out my favorite photos and blurbs to hang in my home office anymore. Sometimes I try to take a DIY approach with zines and blogging, especially after the creative non-fiction course I took in college–by far my favorite–and all I’ve learned about literary journalism, a genre that allows me to be a little more flowery in a nonfiction environment. But I’m beginning to feel more and more each day as if I don’t have a satisfying outlet for it. I can write the pieces–and then what? They sit in files on my laptop collecting digital dust more often than not. I’ve spent the past couple of days tossing around the idea of starting some kind of website, but why? The kind of website I would create already exists in various forms; it’s redundant. But I still want to be that cool girl writing articles about the things she loves, the things you might love, too, and telling true stories on glossy pages.
Final summation: I don’t know what to do with myself, with everything I have percolating inside me, with all the dreams I never quite let go of still clawing at the inside of my skull.