I got my dream job. Then I quit.

Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

Dad, a Cup of Coffee, and the News

Some of my earliest memories of reading started with the newspaper. First it was the comics. Then it was advice from Ann Landers. Eventually it was actual news stories. Almost all of it had to do with my dad. An early riser, my dad would already be a half pot of coffee in when I emerged from my bedroom, the newspaper spread out in front of him. He’d trade me sections, and it made me feel important and special to read it with him.

My Dream Job

Naturally, our early morning newspaper ritual fed a private dream I had to work for the newspaper. I wanted to be a columnist like the late Susan Swartz, a local writer who shared about life in ways I found so personable, even though decades existed between us. But instead of working toward a journalism degree, I took the roundabout way toward this dream by having a family really young, working several different jobs in healthcare, and eventually quitting all of it to be a stay-at-home mom. It took a divorce, and then working for my dad in real estate, before I finally took a stab at that newspaper dream I had. There was a job posting at the newspaper for someone in real estate advertising, and I saw my open door. I had real estate experience (thanks Dad!), and the skills they wanted in advertising were things I could learn. I thought my lack of college degree might be an issue, but it was my background in real estate that made me stand out from others. (Note: you never know what kind of connection will get your foot in the door. Don’t ever discount your worth!)

One Dream Led to Others

But that wasn’t the only dream that came true. At the newspaper, I met a wonderful man unlike any I’d even known. Shawn became a star player in my life, and also in my bi-weekly family column where I shared about dating with kids, struggling with stepkids, and all the complicated/wonderful/messy things about blending a family. I also got to announce our wedding through that column. When I’d thought up the perfect mate, I wanted him to be a kind man, someone I could laugh with, who took responsibility seriously, and who would share sections of the newspaper over coffee with me. Basically, someone like my dad. Shawn was all of these things and more. I sometimes wonder if my whole desire to work at the newspaper was so I could meet and marry him.

When One Door Closes, Another One Opens

But like most things in life, some good things have to come to an end to make room for other good things. In this case, my job at the newspaper had become much too stressful, and the parts I loved — specifically the writing parts — took a back seat to some of the not so fun parts that took up more time than I had in a day. It ended up affecting my non-working hours, so much that I almost quit writing altogether. This blog article is already too long, but you can read the whole story of how I left my job at the newspaper here.

Romance & women’s fiction author. I write on Medium about a variety of topics because I’m not good at staying in one lane. Find me at crissilangwell.com