I've always written under the notion that writing is unapologetically therapeutic. I think it's why I never stopped writing the moment I first picked up a pen, and why I'm following this love out to wherever it takes me in the real world.
In January of 2018, I started writing on Odyssey because I needed a distraction. I was going through a tough breakup, I hadn't really found my whole place in college, and I was in desperate need for something to equally distract and excite me.
So when I saw a flyer calling for writers on Odyssey, I did something I don't normally do: I reached out.
I will admit, it's not easy writing a new article every week. For the first couple months, I was jam-packed with ideas that I knew I wanted to write about and then the ideas just stopped. There are some articles I'm prouder of than others, but each week I picked something from somewhere in my brain, scary or heartwarming or something only I cared about, and I wrote.
Back in October, I started editing as the editor in chief for the Susquehanna Odyssey. I've worked with some incredibly talented, kind, and ambitious writers who continue to spark that excitement in me each week. I'm proud of what I do, and more importantly, I love what I continue to do.
This is my forty-second article on Odyssey. I've written personal anecdotes, descriptive movie reviews, articles on difficult lessons I've had to learn, and a few listicles that I'll admit I think are way funnier than they are.
Sometimes I forget how much can change in a year, but it's a lot easier to see the serious amount of change I've been through now that the year is finishing up. I'm no longer writing these articles heartbroken and locked in my bedroom. I'm happy, I'm unapologetically sharing my voice as often as I can, and through all of that, I'm learning more self-love than I've ever had before.
So, whether it's a heartbreak, a series of draining, life-changing events, or that feeling that the whole world is against you, the best thing you can do for yourself is something you truly love to distract yourself. For me, that distraction was Odyssey, and while distracted, I hadn't even noticed how quickly I was learning to love everything I was doing.
A lot can change in a year, and I'm grateful for the lonely and lost girl I was at the beginning of this year because it got me where I am now, a whole army of support at my back and a clear, personal map drawn out in front of me. I'm doing what I love; I love exactly what I'm doing.
And this is just the very beginning.