Thanks to my friend, Theresa, I'm currently on a trial basis as a contributing writer for EpicPew. It's a website I'd subscribed to (for daily updates via email) while I was in school because I liked the content that they post. When Theresa let me know they were looking for writers, I didn't hesitate to say I was interested in applying. Long story short, it led to my first assignment on pro-life marches coming up this weekend and next.
The lovely thing about this whole thing is that it happened when I finally let go and let God take over. It happened the day I found out I wasn't going to continue the SLP program at Utah State. I had resigned myself to do whatever God wanted me to do. I didn't know how I was going to begin to repay my student loans. I didn't know what work I could possibly do with my chronic fatigue (which has been a nightmare since around Christmas). All I knew was that I fully trusted God to lead me down whatever path He wanted me to take. If I couldn't find anything because I needed to rest, I would rest. If I could find something I could do (and, hopefully, enjoy), I would welcome it. Immediately, this happened and, well, I couldn't be happier!
The interesting thing is that, last week, when I was contacted by the folks at Utah State that they wanted to help me continue down the SLP path by trying to help me get financial aid to finish the last two classes I "needed" (which I don't actually need) was also the day I got my first article greenlight. Cue the "fork in the middle of the road" metaphor. lol. I felt a peace when it came to writing for EpicPew. I feel a tightness in my chest and a foreboding feeling when I think about the SLP path. It was a no-brainer; I was going to stick to writing and not return to Utah State.
Ever since I decided to give an honest effort to make it as a writer (which isn't easy!), I've felt an enormous peace settle in my heart and in my very being. I gave a half-hearted try when I had finished my undergrad degree in 2012 because I felt called to it... but the pressure to do something that had a more steady income made me abandoned that dream. I wish I hadn't because all it did was get me $43k in student loan debt (I only had $2,000 student loan debt after I finished my first B.A.) and made my health take a horrendous hit (over the course of 3.5 years) that I hope to recuperate from this year.
So, what's my takeaway from this long (and, literally, costly) mistake? That one shouldn't ignore what one feels called to out of fear (in my case, financial stability) because God always finds a way to provide. Even before I had finished my first degree, I'd felt like God was slowly tugging me into a career as a writer. When Patrick Madrid gave me my first big writing break in 2010 (that led to other freelance writing gigs; some secular, some Catholic), I didn't even have writing on my radar as a possible career path. I loved writing but I didn't consider doing it for the Catholic world until it happened. Again, financial difficulties, as well as dry spells that every writer experiences, led me to abandon it when I really should've just abandoned myself to His Divine Providence. I mean, I eventually did... years later. lol. You live and learn, folks!
I guess I know why St. Francis de Sales kept popping up in my life for most of last year. He's now my vocation patron saint. I have weekly articles coming up on EpicPew. I have the memoir I'm ghostwriting. I'm working on my third novel (which has undergone a change from its original plot). I hope God continues to show me what He wants me to do... and that I continue to have the courage to do it, even if it means that things may get a little difficult (financially) at times.
That's it for now. I'm doing an experiment to try to get my sleeping schedule back on track which involves shutting off all screens (laptop, phone, iPod touch) early so I need to go finish taking care of emails and everything else before my "screens off" time comes up.
I hope you all have a lovely weekend! :D
As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D