I heard about Odyssey from one of my friends who used to write for a different university. She told me about her creative freedoms and the ins and outs of the Odyssey, and I knew that I had to apply. I can't remember the date I applied, what my screening was like, or when I was accepted, but I do know that on September 20, 2017, my first Odyssey article was published and my life began to change.
My first article was very telling of my life at the time. I was extremely wrapped up in my boyfriend who I had been dating for less than a year, and I just had to write about him and our relationship. Turning in my first article on Muse (may she rest in peace) was new for me, and I remember turning it in and just waiting for the email that it had gone live. Once it did I blasted my own article on every single social media platform I had.
As the weeks and months went by, I got more and more comfortable writing. That is the beauty of Odyssey. It gives you the freedom to be whoever and say whatever you want. It gives you freedom and challenges. It gives you a platform to express your innermost thoughts, or maybe just write about periods. I wrote about my life, my loves, my losses. I even wrote about my sexual assault.
The longer I write for Odyssey, the more confident I become in my writing, and also in who I am. I have gotten comfortable with sharing my deepest darkest secrets with complete strangers on the internet. I have tested boundaries and spoken on a lot of rough topics. I have written about some pretty hard things, but it's the hard things that I have come to love the most. You never know what a personal article could do for someone you don't even know.
The longer I write for Odyssey, the further in love I fall with the site and the community that comes with it. I love writing, and I love sharing my ideas with other people that love writing. I love that I am able to share anything I want to with the entire world and that it will be there on the internet for years to come for people to read and reread.
I work hard for Odyssey because I love what I do and I love what it all stands for. I write articles week after week (even when I would rather do literally anything else) because it's my job, and I love it. I didn't even know how much I would love it when I applied a year ago.
I have gotten recognition for my work for Odyssey but honestly, that's not what I do it for, honestly, that isn't what I think writing for Odyssey is about. I write for the thrill of being heard. For the off chance that someone could see an article that I've written and learn from it or heal with the words I've written. That's what I think this is about. Freedom, healing, and the unapologetic ability to be myself.
Writing for Odyssey has challenged me. It has pushed me to test boundaries, ask questions, and take a leap out of my comfort zone. It has opened my mind to worlds of possibilities and reunited me with my love of writing. It has allowed me to share my life and my experiences with the world. It has allowed me to be myself in the best of ways.
I am forever grateful to Odyssey, and everything it has given me in the last year.