Six months ago, the founder of That First Year (and one of our own talented contributors), Ally Willis, emailed me about a very special project she had in mind: A print magazine chronicling the terrifying and wonderful adventures of post-college life. She was reaching out to a small handful of fellow TFY writers to gauge interest in the project, and I was beyond grateful to be one of them.
Normally, I don’t jump at the chance to write for just anyone. I’m a lazy writer, someone who tends to only put pen to paper (so to speak) when the mood or motivation strikes. And honestly, the mood doesn’t strike nearly as often as I’d like it to. But I’d been an avid reader of Ally’s blog since 2014—go check it out; it’s like a lovely little handbook for navigating your 20s—and I knew if I dug deep enough, I could come up with something (hopefully) worth contributing.
Turns out, I didn’t have to dig too deep.
The week that Ally reached out to me was significant for two reasons: It was exactly one year after I had made the difficult decision to quit my full-time job in pursuit of becoming a full-time blogger; and consequently, it marked the first anniversary of the conception of Her Story Goes.
Both good things, it would seem—unless you’re like me, and have an annoying habit of second-guessing yourself at every turn. As if on cue, March saw me entertain an unhealthy measure of introspection regarding my chosen career path. The same question reverberated around my brain and consumed my thoughts for a whole month: Did I make a huge mistake?
As confident as I had been in my decision at the time, walking away from my glamorous magazine job—and along with it, my lifelong “dream” career—left an emotional scar that refused to heal, no matter how many times I told myself it was for the best. A year later, I was still feeling an incredible amount of doubt. Perhaps, even, a tinge of regret. And because I was scared of what people would think, I refrained from talking (or writing) about it.
That is, until Ally presented me with the perfect opportunity. Honestly, her timing was impeccable. Sorting through my own conflicted feelings and opening up about my personal experience was never going to be easy. As vulnerable as I felt about my whole job situation, if I was ever going to share my thoughts with the world, I needed an outlet separate from this blog to do so. Ally graciously provided that outlet in the form of a community-crafted, print publication composed of reflections similar to mine.
Windrose is everything you (and I) could hope for in a magazine. It is a collection of real stories we can all relate to in some form or fashion. It’s for those currently in the throes of adulthood—facing new challenges, covering uncharted territory, grieving past phases—and learning to carve out a life all their own. It’s a unifying, uplifting work of words and art that continues to remind me of one very important thing: Despite my endless doubts and fears and insecurities, I’m not alone. And neither are you.
Windrose Magazine is all of those things. And it’s here for the taking.
People say that life has a way of working itself out. I’m not sure if this is always true, but what I do know is this: Six months ago, I was lost—completely unaware of my purpose in life and, as a result, struggling with low elf-esteem. It wasn’t until I put those struggles down on paper that I was able to let them go and move on. Now, incidentally in the same month of Windrose’s debut, I find myself on the cusp of a new chapter in my career. I finally understand what I’m supposed to do and what I want my future to look like. And with that revelation, I’ve received long-awaited confirmation that the path I’m on is the right one—and the decisions I’ve made up until this point, small stepping stones guiding me to where I need to be.
While I’m not quite ready to divulge where that is just yet (I don’t want to jinx it!), it’s about time I share with you the humbling experience that led me here. If you’d like to read my story—along with numerous other tidbits and tales from beautiful humans sailing through the same tumultuous seas of adulthood as you—order your copy of Windrose Magazine today. It’s the reminder we all need that everything really will be okay.
Co-Founder & Editor | Emily graduated from the University of Texas in December 2013 with a degree in English and journalism under her belt. She currently lives with her husband in Frisco, where she works for a chiropractor and moonlights as a lifestyle blogger. On any given day, you can find her hanging out at a quiet coffee shop, nose-deep in a good mystery novel or snapping photos of her extra frothy cappuccino.