Tell your story
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Look at that screen grab! Does anyone recognize it?. This was my first blog post. I remember feeling super technical and wildly vulnerable at the same time.
For those of you who don’t know, I started recapping The Bachelor on April 3, 2003 with an email to three girls. It sort of grew too big for me to handle, so my work friend Jason forced me to get a blog. Two years later, Jason convinced me to get a legitimate website with an actual URL. In August 2008, I launched iHateGreenBeans as a place to tell my story. You won’t be able to find those earlier posts. I accidentally deleted them and still cry to this day if I think about it too long.
Here we are, 12 years later and the darn thing is still kicking. Believe me when I say that no one is as surprised as I am.
I’ve been sitting here, staring at a blank page for about 30 minutes as Christy Nockels plays in the background. Words are my life. Writing comes easy for me, yet I can’t seem to figure out how to convey how much this little website has impacted me in ways that I could never imagine. Hear me when I say that it has nothing to do with the mechanics or stories. It has EVERYTHING to do with the people on the other side of the screen who take time out of their day to read what I have to say.
This thought is absolutely overwhelming to me.
I love this website. I love that I can share whatever I’m feeling. I love that it started out as a silly place for friends to come read about The Bachelor. With all the joy this place brings, I find it completely ironic that it was born in such a dark time in my life. I was going through a painful divorce and this community quite literally helped me get out of the bed. I had purpose. I didn’t really care if my purpose was to report who would forego their individual room keys. This website was like oxygen. The readers were my support system.
When I moved to Houston and was graciously extended a job in the oil and gas business, I took it. My boss was kind enough to indulge my side writing hobby. For nine years, he let me gallivant around the world getting stamps in my passport to places like Ukraine, Singapore and North Dakota. I worked hard and will forever be grateful for him taking a chance on a very broken person. Through all the Offshore Technology conferences and rig-ups, I kept writing about music, movies, TV, Jesus and Our Host Chris Harrison’s amazing blue eyes.
It was a complete surprise when Entertainment Weekly came knocking on my virtual door to ask if I could recap television shows for them. It took zero arm twisting for me to watch TV for a living. For the first time in my life I realized what people meant when they said they loved their job. This type of writing is what I was born to do. Soon The Associated Press and CBS.com were added to the list of employers—all found me through iHateGreenBeans.
Suddenly my freelance writing gigs were no longer a hobby.
I read a verse in Isaiah that said, “Then he went to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before God.” That’s how I felt about my life. All of these wonderful opportunities were spread out before me. I had to choose to jump into the scary, butt-clenching freelance world completely, or stick with a dependable job in the oil and gas industry.
On July 31, 2015, I chose to jump into the world of full-time writing.
I’m a weird mixture of a scared, excited, giddy, relieved, tired, can’t sleep, adrenaline-induced version of myself. But I have the desire to make it work no matter what. I have friends who have promised to lift me up in my times of “WHAT DID I JUST DO?” These are the same friends who have promised I can sleep on their couch should I become homeless in the near future.
With this new endeavor comes lots of fun opportunities. I’ll still be writing for EW and will continue my commitment to posting on IHGB four times a week. I’ll still teach Bible study every Wednesday night at church. For the handful of you who have repeatedly asked, yes—a book is in the works. I also hope to land speaking engagements.
At the end of the day, I continue to bow my head, humbled by the fact that the Lord has put me in a unique position to tell my story. I’m even more humbled that people like you want to hear it. I will never be able to thank you enough for investing in me. I’m excited to see where this leads and what He has in store for me. I promise to keep you in the loop along the way.
Let the new chapter begin…