Home > Boston...again. > Hair-raising success.

Hair-raising success.

Hello, everyone. Say hello to me, Boston’s newest freelance writer.

Hmm? What’s that? How did this happen, you ask? I’d be happy to explain. It goes way back. Settle in; it’s a good story. And it begins with my hair.

I’ve had issues with my hair a long, long, very long time.

It’s curly. It makes me look like a fourth grader. I switch products weekly because nothing ever seems to work well at controlling the curl. Or keeping it straight. A couple years ago I finally took the plunge and chopped it short, which I loved.

When I moved to Boston I decided a new life meant a new haircut. New place, new me. That was the idea. Because I was trying to save money at every turn I held my breath and went to this place called Blaine Beauty School. Basically the place gives cheap haircuts and highlights because the students are the ones who are the stylists. They are watched over by their instructors, but still, it’s a little nerve-wracking.

My experience was great though. This guy named Jason cut my hair, and he was the sweetest man ever. We hit it off and talked about everything while he painstakingly cut and highlighted my hair. Three and a half hours later he was finished. And he told me wanted to give me a haircut that made me more distinctive. He said my haircut would help prospective employers take notice of me and notice me more.

Two months later this is exactly what happened.

Last Sunday I was working in the flower shop when this woman came in. She wanted to buy flowers for her mother-in-law, and she didn’t care what she got. In her words she “despised the woman.” Haha. While I was wrapping her flowers for her, she commented on my haircut and how much she liked it. She asked me where I got it cut and from there we just started chatting. One thing led to another and I mentioned how I recently moved to Boston from Texas, then I told her I’d just graduated from college.

She asked me what I’d studied and when I told her journalism her eyes lit up.

“Journalism? So you write then?”

Yes. I write. Not well. But I try.

But I didn’t tell her that. I told her that yes, I write and I love it. I told her I’ve been looking for any sort of job that would give me more experience.

She whipped out a piece of paper and started talking again, telling me about what she does and that I should e-mail her. She told me she knew people at the Weekly Dig and at Stuff and at the Boston Phoenix. She told me she was looking for someone to work on writing projects for her. This woman moves very quickly and before I knew it she was out the door, leaving me with her e-mail address in hand and a fluttering heart. I was wondering if it was some sort of a joke.

A couple days later I decided to shoot her an e-mail to see what whould happen. I kept it quiet from everyone because I didn’t want to be embarrassed like I was with that other job. But after receiving a positive response from her I started to feel better. We set up a meeting for my next day off, which was today, to talk about getting started on some writing projects.

Basically, this woman is an event planner for JP Centre/South Main Streets. It’s an organization in Jamaica Plain that’s focused on keeping the community a part of the big cities. It focuses on shopping locally and drawing tourists into areas of the city that are off the beaten path, so to speak.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went in today. I was afraid to hope. I didn’t want to be disappointed again.

But, my readers, I was anything but disappointed. 

I met with the woman and she started reeling off story ideas for me to begin working on immediately.

She wants me write about First Thursdays, an art event in JP. She wants me to do profiles over interesting people in Jamaica Plain, one of whom is the former personal assistant to Steven Tyler. Yes, the Steven Tyler. She wants me come up with my own ideas and be creative. I have a bit of free rein with this project, I was excited to learn.

After picking my jaw up off the floor I started furiously writing everything down. She threw names and numbers of contacts at me so quickly I could barely get it all down. She suggested I write a story a week. She told me she wanted me to write a few press releases for her events; press releases that will possibly be in the Weekly Dig and the Phoenix, and if she can swing it, the Boston Herald and the Globe. The Boston Globe. Yes, the Globe. Me. In the Globe. It’s a slim possibility, but it’s a possibility nonetheless. (And in case you forgot, possiblity is my favorite word.)

She set me up with a more professional e-mail address and is getting me in touch with a designer to get business cards. She wants me to be able to hand out my cards as a freelance writer at events, because apparently, I get to attend them with her.

She wants to help me because by writing these stories for her I’m helping her out.

Why do I deserve this? I feel so blessed. Three months ago I was at home in Midland and had graduated 10 days prior. Now I’m in Boston, working at a flower shop and acting as a freelance writer.

What if I had never done this? That thought scares me even more than actually moving here scared me. What if I had never moved here, had never gone to that beauty school on that one night that Jason was there? What if I’d never started working at the flower shop and never met this woman?

What if I’d listened to the professors and advisers at school who told me not to move to Boston?

I have to wonder what I’d be doing right now. 

I know this isn’t a “forever” job. I know that it’s not permanent and I know that it sucks to not get paid for my work.

BUT.

But it’s something to put on my resume. It’s more experience and it’s a way to get my name out there in Boston. I am a writer in Boston. How supremely awesome is that?

I’ve always been told how difficult it is to get “in” in Boston; that it’s an extremely closed community to outsiders. This is how I picture it. Boston is a closed door. But I shoved my foot in the miniscule crack and I’m forcing my way in and won’t stop until I make it. I’ve got my foot in the door.

So tomorrow, I get to start working on my first story. And that makes me so unbelievably happy. I feel like I’m about to burst out of my skin with joy.

It’s days like today where I’m going to be so happy I smile widely at strangers. This is when I feel less skeptical and cynical about the world. This is the type of day where I’m able to believe in magic and in hope and in the power of dreaming.

Because look where dreaming big got me.

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  1. Rob
    March 29, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    congrats on the job….you are on your way to accomplishing your dream

  2. Jessica
    March 29, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Yea Katie! I am so happy for you! After reading this I have renewed hope that I too will find a job in the field that I want.

  3. James
    March 29, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    Great Great Great…. I am so excited for you Katie! I’m going to have to keep an eye on Bostons news now that they have a new freelance writer with a cute cut.

    I know you were a little on edge with the whole job thing, but all you have to remember is one thing… People believe in you and will always support what ever you do….

    Rest assured we (your friends) will always be here for you anytime you need us…

    Congratulations again!

  4. March 30, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Hi Katie!

    So it’s us girls from the flower shop, the baby shower ones! Thanks for helping us out today! Just wanted to say that you have lovely stories on the blog. Congratulations on the freelance writer gig and good luck!

    Welcome to Boston.

  5. Her
    April 1, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Congrats on your new gig! We just moved to Cambridge from Austin, so I thought I’d stop by and say hello, or howdy if you’re into that (?), to another Texan.

  6. April 2, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Congratulations. That is very exciting news and will definitely be an awesome experience.

    Boston is one of the greatest cities as well, enjoy!

    Best,

    Hannah Katy

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