Friday, June 22, 2007

Que Felicidaje

Yesterday I was speaking with a friend who is going through some amazingly awful things in her life, which I won't spell out here, but needless to say, it's rough. On top of all the other stuff, she's a single mom and trying to find a job to support herself and her daughter, and it's not easy to find something you enjoy doing here and get paid decently for doing it. When she started asking me about what I do for a living, I realized, maybe for the first time in a long time, how super fucking lucky I really am to be living the life I want to live.

I get to write for a living. I also get to edit other people's work. How great is that? Sometimes I'm not thrilled about what I have to write or what I have to edit, but J Su Christo, I bet there are (in relation to the general population) very few of us who can say they make their living as a writer. I get to work from home, and be with my family all day. Some people might say they'd go crazy if they had to be around their kids and husbands all day, but I truly enjoy it. In fact, I wouldn't have it any other way. Desk job? 9-to-5? No way, Josefina! I do have a sort-of regular job here as the editor of a travel magazine, but I still work from home and on my own time. I sometimes write for the local English newspaper, but they pay terribly so I only do it when I really need the money. I just started writing for a website about Costa Rica. My background, strangely enough, is in graphic design, and when I get to do that, it's less like doing a job and more about just having fun, I love it so much. I began working in graphic design in a big huge publishing company, and my boss saw that I had some modicum of talent for writing, and started me in writing there, where I worked my way up to content editing. Can you believe I've been doing that for almost 15 years now? Sometimes it sucks, sometimes it's great.

But in the end, I am writing for a living. This is what I always dreamed about when I was a little girl. I'd make up my own newspapers with stories about my pets, school, my toys, anything I thought was halfway interesting, even adding in photos and captions. I'd write songs and plays, singing and acting out all of the parts. I read everything I could get my hands on. In high school, my English teacher (thank you Mr. Palmer, wherever you are!) was the first one (besides my mother) who seemed to appreciate my writing, even though I was a smart-ass little shit who wrote expository pieces on how to shoplift and poetry about having sex with lots of different guys and the finer points each of them brought to the table. (Inner city school, what can I say.) Mr. P. never batted an eye at the content, but always lent a helping hand with regards to grammar and format. He saw right through my ruse. He believed in me, and I began to believe in myself. (Boy I wish I could find him and apologize for that girl that I no longer recognize! Thank God for those special teachers, eh?) And here I am today, a writer. Life is good. If you hear me complain about my job, slap me.

Que felicidaje.

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