How would you like to work in a gigantic basket? That’s right, this basket building is actually a thing. It’s home to the Longaberger Company headquarters in Ohio and was built in 1996. Last fall, the company listed half of its space for lease. Wouldn’t it be fun to drive up to that building every morning?
So…who wants to go in on a co-working space, friends? xoxo
[Photos via My Modern Met]
Last week, we talked about our favorite teachers, and today? Well, it’s all about those dream jobs we had as kids. You know, what we’d say any time someone asked us that daunting ten-word question: What do you want to be when you grow up? Childhood is such a magical time, where anything is possible. You can be anything you want to be, live anywhere your little inner traveler heart desires — there is nothing stopping you or your imagination. Sometimes, we changed our “future job” like we changed our Halloween costume every year, but that was OK because it was all part of the exploration process. Judging by your picks, you all did quite a bit of exploring back then…
*Meteorologist. Specifically, wind patterns.
*Astronaut. I really wanted to go to space. And the Moon. And Mars.
*Paleontologist just because I thought it was a cool word. I had no idea what it actually was at the time.
*I wanted to work at McDonald’s.
*I wanted to be a janitor for a time.
*Pop singer married to Mickey Dolenz.
I loooved reading your picks and found myself nodding in agreement to quite a few of them. YES for girls wanting to be astronauts! And, in the name of complete honesty, I once had grand dreams of being a pop singer, only I wanted to marry one of the Osmond brothers (I think it was Merrill…) or Justin Timberlake. You know, the usual suspects. Here’s next week’s question…
If you could give the next generation one piece of advice, what would it be?
Editor’s note: I recently found this newspaper column I wrote shortly after I graduated college. It’s fun to look back and reflect on the twists and turns your life and career have taken, isn’t it? Have you had similar internal conversations with yourself, friends? Let’s chat! xoxo
My mom’s subscribed to USA Today for as long as I can remember. Truth be told, I’ve always had a soft spot for McPaper, as my college journalism professors so eloquently described the nation’s largest-circulation daily. A few days ago, I sat down to read the newest issue, and as I opened it, I encountered splashy, color photos and short, snappy articles. Later, I flipped on CNN, only to be bombarded by headlines of celebrity gossip broadcasted by cheerful, young news anchors. Whether we like it or not, the media are ubiquitous. Magazines. Newspapers. Television. Even blogs. The face of journalism is changing with every click of a mouse and every news broadcast on Sirius radio. I’m not one to get paranoid, but I always feel the media’s gentle hand tapping me on the shoulder, swiftly pulling me further and further into their web.
My senses became heightened to all things media at an early age, when I easily became fixated on the glimmering television as I watched hours of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street. Now, whenever I see a newspaper, I open the big pages and let them engulf me. Whenever I smell the fresh paper and ink of an unread magazine, I’m overpowered by this intractable urge to pick it up and devour everything about it. I cradle it in my hands, slowly bring it to my face, flip through the shiny, glossy pages and smell that magazine smell, complete with loads of perfume ads sprinkled throughout. I study each story — how it’s crafted with a specific tone and style — and take note of the creative use of photos and illustrations. Heck, I even study the advertisements. If I could, I’d probably roll around in a stack of magazines.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the media’s role in my life, and I’ve formed a working hypothesis: I’m a true journalist. It runs through my blood with a force like white water rapids or a thunderous mountain avalanche. But alas, I find myself torn. It’s sort of an existential journalism crisis, if you will. What kind of journalist do I want to be? In what direction are my heart and passion calling me? As I see it, I stand before a metaphorical fork in the road. To my left is the Bob Woodward path — serious, hard-hitting, watchdog journalism. To my right is the Us Weekly path — fun, fluffy, celebrity infotainment. In my high school journalism class, I saw All the President’s Men, a little film about Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s rise to fame as they uncovered the secrets behind Richard Nixon’s involvement in Watergate. I’m not ashamed to admit that the movie changed my life, and I’ve seen it at least four times since then. It’s fast-paced in the newsroom. It shows Woodward and Bernstein chasing down sources. It has them fiercely pounding those typewriter keys. To me, the Woodward/Bernstein story embodied everything true journalism should be. I wanted to emulate my hero Woodward in every way.
It’s not like I didn’t have the experience. I relished my duties as a campus reporter in college, and in my own, glamorous little world, I could fight the good fight. Plagiarism allegations against an anthropology professor and an education professor whose views were questioned? Bam! School of Nursing staff shortages? Pow! The role of the student trustee? Zap! The cancellation of summer graduation? Ouch! An investigation into faculty salaries? Somebody stop me! I thought I was hot stuff tooling around campus, hounding professors and administrators. Normally the quiet girl, I somehow became a bold and brazen Diane Sawyer. But then, a little craze known as celebrity, sensational journalism gripped the country in its sharp teeth and claws. Walk through any supermarket, and you’ll see what I mean: rows and rows of shiny tabloids proclaiming exclusive scoops and pictures of Hollywood’s finest — or baddest. Us Weekly, People, In Touch Weekly. They’re all there, and the public’s insatiable thirst for all things gossip and sleazy crosses all boundaries. In recent years, the tidal wave has even washed away a bit of the journalist in me. I’ve become one of them, devouring these celebrity stories week after week. It would be so easy to blame it all on my generation. After all, I was born three days after MTV launched in 1981, so I’ve grown up with celebrity updates 24/7. My mind has even been leaning toward dreams of a coveted career as an Us Weekly reporter. I know, you’re probably cringing right about now.
So now you see my dilemma. My heart beats “journalism that makes a difference,” as my journalism professors drilled into my head. But my head — and eyes — are mesmerized by the bright Hollywood sign. Should I sacrifice who I am and what I’ve aspired to be since high school, all for the allure of the fickle superstar industry? Every time I broach this subject with my mother, she shoots me a glaring look of disapproval. “You’re a journalist,” she retorts. Maybe she’s right. Maybe it’s time I got off this crazy celebrity train. There’s much journalistic work to be done. And who knows. Maybe someday, I’ll hobnob with Bob Woodward… xoxo
[Photos via We Heart It]
Every day, I leaf through the newspaper classifieds. It’s not that my soul is aching for a used but — “in good condition” — putrid-green couch and love seat with matching throw pillows. Rather, my curious mind simply likes to see what’s out there. I cry at the lost doggies and kitties. I laugh at what people have for sale. And then I get a faint glimmer in my eyes when I see all the want ads. There’s a million available jobs, or so it seems, all ripe for the taking. Open that gigantic newspaper and you could be anything — teacher’s aide, pizza delivery girl, mechanic, even a secretary. There’s an endless supply of jobs for a hard-working, go-getting, versatile gal like me…
Yes, it’s high time I suited up and got in touch with all the career dreams that have been haunting me since childhood like a ghost creeping through the night. For instance, I first got the itch to perform when I entered middle school. And it wasn’t the kind of itch that can easily be soothed with calamine lotion, either. This itch turned into a gnawing, which turned into night sweats, which turned into a fever, until I surrendered to the temptation and screamed, “I need to sing!” It’s to the point now where I sing all the time. In the shower. Folding laundry. When I’m sending e-mail. I even sing in my head. Half the time, I don’t even know I’m singing until my sister, in her bold and brazen voice, shouts, “Stop singing!” But the thing is, I can’t stop. For me, singing has become a release. I can’t get up and run a mile, but I can be free when I sing. And I feel like I walk with each note I utter.
Of course, I want to be realistic, and being a singer would allow me to diversify my talents. On the side of my Grammy-winning career, I could model the newest fall and spring fashions, complete with cute, matching handbags. My red hair pulled back with a specialty headband imported from Milan or Paris or wherever those Versaces and Dolce & Gabbanas live, I’d strut down the catwalk, my pretty smile matching my pink satin dress and sparkling sapphire earrings. My days of sporting dusty old sweatshirts and boring black shoes would be over, and I’d be a confident new woman with a new sense of high fashion. The editors of Vogue and Elle would look to me to set the trend and help us forget about last year’s pumps and oversized bracelets.
But maybe I should set my sights a bit lower. Short of reading the entire Oxford English Dictionary or rolling around in a pile of books, I could satisfy my love for words at a sort of word-lovers Mecca. It’s a mammoth building, towering above the skyline like the Bat Signal, and it’s the hippest place on Earth for us nerds, the wide-rimmed-glasses set whose secret weapon is a backpack full of books. The local university’s library has already become my safe haven, the place where I go to shut out the bustling world. I sometimes have dreams of sneaking behind the stacks right before closing and staying perched on the third floor all night. I could do wonderful things for that place if only they’d bestow upon me the awesome title of librarian, complete with a badge to show off my authority. Besides, librarying runs in the family. My aunt’s one, and she once told me about how excited she was to have a new box of fresh books to open. If only I could be inducted into that secret cult of Librarians United In Words, who spend their meetings in the library’s basement arguing over who will be the lucky one to shelve a pile of smooth, shiny books. I want to be thisclose to Mr. Dewey Decimal.
Natural nursing home social director
Or there’s a career with the over-65 set. I began my love affair with the elderly when I joined the Grandparent’s Club in middle school. Each week, we little children ventured to the nursing home. It had long halls and dim lights, but strangely, I was not afraid. The elderly and I, we have a bond like this (picture me clasping my hands together in a show of solidarity). We both eat early lunches — mine’s usually at 11:20 a.m. on the dot. We love a good juice drink. And we both snuggle into bed before 9 p.m. Maybe that means my calling lies in being a social director for a retirement home – a live-in social director, of course. I can picture it now: A group of four white-haired, elegantly dressed women and me sitting around a table, nursing a bottle of apple juice and playing a mean game of bridge.
I’ve come to treasure that daily rendezvous with the classified ads. It’s almost like being a child, when every day you want to be something different when you grow up. Maybe that’s the beauty of being young. You can be anything. You can do anything. I may be all grown up, but I still have dreams. I’m slowly learning that you never have to give up your dreams. You may get older, but your dreams can live on forever. Your relationship with them may just be the most satisfying relationship you will ever have, so hold onto them. No matter where reality takes you, your dreams will always be right behind.
[Photos via We Heart It]