Saturday, March 24, 2018

30-Something

The 30-Something blog has been an endeavor that took way longer to get off the ground than I had assumed. I figured I would ask if I could write a blog, get the okay, and start posting the next day. It literally took nearly two months from the time I sent my first email until the first post went up. The caricature of me was animated by the newspaper's graphic design guy, Kevin.

There was initially a lot of skepticism from those above me; they worried that perhaps it would devolve into a "Sex and the City" style Carrie Bradshaw gossip blog. I had a meeting where I had to explain what the blog was. I explained that the opinion section of the newspaper didn't speak to me, and that I wanted to write about serious young adult issues from the perspective of somebody who knows what they're going through. I assured them that while I may address it occasionally, it wasn't going to be just fun, lighthearted dating and relationship pieces.

A couple weeks into the endeavor, I was called into another meeting and notified that one of my posts about sexual harassment and #metoo had been taken down. They wanted to know why I wasn't writing fun, lighthearted relationship and dating pieces. So, the tone of the blog changed a little bit. I'm no longer trying to change the world; I'm just trying to have some fun.

With that, here's what I've posted so far:

The introduction: What is 30-Something? ... A piece that explains how I got into writing and journalism, and what the point of the blog will be. The picture included is of me the day before my interview with the Charleston Gazette-Mail. I tried on that shirt and tie, then sent a picture to a couple friends asking if it looked good.

Reprehensible actions: LGBTQ grant causes donors to rescind funding ... Back when this was still the editorial voice for young people, this was a cause that I wanted to champion. A group that helped teenagers received a grant to help LGBTQ kids, and a bunch of people in the area decided they didn't want to give them anymore money. 

A helpful list of handy Tinder hints ... Tips for online dating. It's basically just me saying be respectful and don't be a creep.

Alone on Christmas: Or, how I learned to get over the hurt ... This was the first post after I was told to change gears. I figured I would instead just tell stories and have a lesson at the end. A girl broke my heart around Christmas in 2016 and I talk about how I got over it. I thought it was just a little sad, but people have told me this is like super, heartbreaking sad.

They're huge: Donald Trump's tips for success ... This was actually a combination of two pieces. I had started writing something about politics for the opinion section of the newspaper, but I didn't know how to finish it; I had that opening part where I compare where I was for the two inaugurations and some of the parts about Trump. Then one day I just randomly thought about a list of lessons we can learn from Trump, like being assertive and not worrying about what people think. So I decided to combine the two.

A list of pros and cons: Is the 'American Dream' worth it? ... Again, two pieces combined together. I had this idea for something about how I didn't want to get married or have kids, which involved a story about telling my mom that my first girlfriend had gotten pregnant. But, there wasn't much to it; it needed something more. Then I came up with the list of reasons to have kids and get married, and then the flip side. So I stuck that in the middle of the story and it all works, I think.

Motivational thoughts: Using anger to fuel your dreams ... This one got pretty popular on Facebook with my friends who used to wait tables. This is basically the story of me getting fed up with working in an industry I hated and doing whatever it took to change my life. And the lesson being that if I did it, then you can too.

A social media question: To ghost or not to ghost? ... I delve into the recent phenomenon of ghosting, where you block people on social media without warning and remove them from your life. I look into whether or not you are justified in your actions, and I discuss a time when I was ghosted, and a time when I did the ghosting. I also created a crude, yet effective flowchart in Paint that answers the question of whether or not you should ghost someone.

And that's where we're at so far. I'm not changing the world, as I've mentioned. But people are having fun reading it and I really like writing it. I guess that's good enough for me.

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