[ caption: “I still can’t believe I live in this city.” ]
And, nope, still can’t. For those of you not in the know, “I” in this case is me, Andrea, a 29-year-old female. “This city” is Minneapolis, Minnesota. Those are two important facts to include in a first blog post, and a third is that it killed me to spell out “Minnesota” in its entirety because I follow AP style – which would have me shorten it to “Minn.” – even outside of my job, but that’s a whole other thing to annoy you with at a later time.
The photo above is the first I ever posted to my @whitegrlinacrowd Instagram account, which sprung an unhealthy obsession with double-filtering and long strings of hashtags but also friendships and a lot of love for the Twin Cities, which is partially why I am here typing this right now.
Another reason is that I grew up writing and knew it was pretty much my “thing.” Everyone gets at least one thing – a skill or talent that they know they can bank on for success. Book reports in middle/high school? Slam dunk. Papers in college? Time-consuming but, still, nothin’ but NET. In my first job after graduating? It was confirmed that under pressure is where I thrive. I busted out city council meeting stories on deadline while simultaneously editing the sports section, filling inside pages with wire stories and updating the weather on our front page and, OK, that part doesn’t seem overly impressive now but can you believe somebody handed a 22-year-old that much power? People maybe possibly based their outfit that day on whether I remembered to update the sunny icon from the day before to the rainy icon. ALL THE POWER!
And then the writing stopped. For fun, for work, for anything. I transitioned from a creative writer to reporter to editor, which is, like, the pinnacle for somebody like me who revels in correcting peoples’ grammar. As I became a better editor, I struggled to even type up short articles when duty called as our staff size continued to shrink. I was scared to write anything that wasn’t print-ready on the first try – maybe, in part, because I knew my biggest critic (me) was already editing the thoughts in my mind before I even typed them out.
So here I am carving out a little spot on the internet (note: not capitalizing the “i” on this word is a very recent AP style change but I must follow code) to re-learn the free flowing nature of how I remember writing. To not be afraid of typing words – ANY words – especially ones that describe my memories and thoughts and feelings. To not use my somewhat-misguided desire for written perfection to stand in the way of connecting with people. And most importantly: to not lose my voice.
We all have our “thing.” I think this is mine.
To be very transparent, I don’t have an exact, laid-out plan for this space yet. What I DO have are a ton of ideas for future posts, a lot of experiences to share and a very overwhelming, crippling fear of starting anything new and failing so this is just all coming together great for me! It’ll unfold as we go and, fingers crossed, become a spot we both look forward to visiting for at least a few moments once or twice a week. Cool? Cool.