Those of you who have known me for a long time know that my legit career aspiration was to work for the now-defunct Jane magazine. I can actually credit my mom for how I discovered Jane magazine. . .she'd read an article in the newspaper about different types of girls, and how the more traditional girls read Cosmopolitan, but the more off-beat, quirky girls read Jane. "Have you ever read Jane?" Mom asked. I hadn't, but I immediately got a subscription, sight unseen. Us quirky girls, you know, have got to stick together.
And then I fell in love.
The first thing I ever had published in a magazine was a little blurb in the beginning of the magazine. They'd asked a question. . .something about money going toward sports in schools. I can't even remember. But I'd e-mailed in my response and they published it.
They also had these columns called It Happened To Me that paid somewhere between $50 and $100 to people to just tell stories about. . .crazy or weird or strange things that had happened to them. My plan was, I was going to write one of those, Editor-In-Chief Jane Pratt was going to fall madly in love with my writing style and offer me a job as soon as I graduated college. It was my plan.
Then Jane Pratt left Jane magazine and Brandon Holley took her place. At some point, and I can't even remember why, I'd e-mailed the magazine, and Brandon Holley herself e-mailed me back. Brandon was no Jane Pratt, but oh my God, the editor of the magazine of my dream job had e-mailed me back.
Then, in the summer of 2007, I was a newly-minted college graduate, working a temp job at a pharmaceutical company, waiting for my Big Break, when my friend Ashley e-mailed me with the news. She was a graphics major in the journalism school at UNC, so she was on these journalism-related listservs.
"Just saw that Jane magazine is folding," she said. ":("
And just like that, Ashley ruined all my hopes and dreams and aspirations.
(Just kidding. I'm just shooting the messanger.)
So I did some Yahoo!ing (you know, before Google was a way of life), and although it was very cloak-and-dagger and very mysterious, it was true: My beloved Jane, the goal of my life, was going under.
Admittedly, the quality had taken a drastic, drastic downturn in the previous few years. I'd even let my subscription lapse for a while after Jane Pratt left. But. . .it was Jane.
Fast forward some years, and Jane Pratt has started a new online venture, xoJane.com. It had a rough start, I think, but then it caught on. There are lots of different voices on the site (Personally, I'm madly in love with Emily and Daisy, even though the latter has caused some. . .uproars.) There are some really bitchy voices within the commentors, but there are also some very lovely people.
And they still have It Happened To Me.
I think you know where this is going.
I wrote this.
It was terrifying and exciting and awesome. So far, the comments have been supportive.
And I like to think it's my one step closer to having Jane Pratt discover me*.
*It should be noted that I applied for a job with xoJane, but I never heard anything from them. It's just as well: I'm not sure how D would have felt about moving to Manhattan.