Here's a story I pitched recently to a women's magazine. It wasn't accepted by them, but I want to publish it anyway. Here it is...
Six months ago I packed everything I own into my sedan and drove more than 2,000 miles from Detroit to Las Vegas . I was nervous about going, but I was more nervous about staying. I felt it was time to take control of my destiny. In the past four years I had experienced two lay-offs and a dead-end job and I wanted to explore my options. I just knew that moving out of Detroit was the answer and once I did that everything would be better.
I had desired to leave Detroit for a very long time. But, it’s difficult to leave your entire family and all of your friends behind. It would be hard leaving my mom. But, I was finally ready. I thought I would arrive in Vegas and I would become this superstar freelance writer/publicist overnight, buy an amazing condominium right off the strip and live fabulously ever after. I am a single, educated and talented young woman and I figured the world would be eating out of the palm of my hand.
I recently read an article published by the Detroit News that stated 30, 500 people left the state of Michigan in 2006 in search of available jobs. The governor is hard at work and making efforts to create jobs in Michigan , but the truth of the matter is that I needed a job immediately. My bills and my life couldn’t wait. I was done with college and ready to begin my future. Vegas has good weather, its population is steadily growing and its economy seemed to be doing okay, so I figured it was a safe bet. Pun intended.
When I first arrived in Las Vegas everything was exciting and new. The bright lights, the energy and all the activities available made me very happy to be in Sin City . I landed a job at a radio station within two weeks of my arrival. Everything was going well for the first couple of months and then I hit my first road block. I experienced a financial blow and I was scared. I have always been ambitious and able to support myself, but it was different this time. I was thousands of miles away from my support system and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I cried a lot, prayed a lot and did some brainstorming. Through the grace of God I got over that hurdle.
Another couple of months passed and I was fine until I hit my second roadblock. I became extremely homesick. I missed my family and friends so much it affected me physically. I missed my mom. All I wanted to do was sleep and cry. I isolated myself for a couple of weeks and I didn’t go anywhere but work. This afforded me plenty of time to revel in my misery. Before I knew it, I was not only upset about missing my loved ones, I looked around and I wasn’t living in the amazing condominium I had imagined, and overnight had come and gone and I wasn’t a superstar freelance writer/publicist. I was depressed.
Well, a couple of more months have passed and I have discovered my real obstacle. It’s me. Sure, I had escaped Michigan , but I had ignored the fact that lasting success usually doesn’t happen overnight. Most successful people have to pay their dues first and leaving Michigan wasn’t or isn’t the absolute answer. I neglected to prepare for the challenges ahead. Freelance writing is a constant battle and a very competitive market. Also, there are lots of elements to relocating that I should’ve considered. What are the qualities you desire in a city? What field of work are you interested in and does that city have lots opportunities in that field? How much money do I need to make in order to satisfy my shelter, food, transportation needs, etc.? How accessible am I to my family and friends?
I am very proud of myself for having the courage to leave. That is the first step. The good news is that I am taking further steps to make my media aspirations come to fruition. I recently applied for a professional public relations internship in Washington D.C. , I have made a lot of improvements to my blog, I am querying editors and I am even writing theater blurbs occasionally for a weekly newspaper in Las Vegas . I am finally on the right path. Perhaps, it will even lead me back to Michigan one day, and my mom.