April 2008, Ames, Iowa
I spent two summers in Manhattan during college — after my sophomore year and again after my junior year. It was an easy decision to go the second time. The first time was more difficult.
I wanted to be within driving distance of home. I’ve never considered myself an I’ll-only-ever-live-in-Iowa person, but I’ve always enjoyed the ability to drive to my parents’ house when I felt like it. I was a journalism major. (I had changed my major from marketing before I even started college. Iowa State made it so easy to just select a different option from the drop-down menu in their online system.)
I started looking into internships at Meredith Corporation in Des Moines and several city and regional magazines in places like Minneapolis and Kansas City. I could tell even before I applied that they would be hard positions to snag.
Then my dad called one day. I stepped out of my dorm room on the Bates Babes floor of Willow Hall. I stood in the concrete-walled poorly-lit hallway, and he told me had met the publisher of an interior design magazine with its offices in midtown Manhattan.
The magazine regularly took interns recommended by word-of-mouth; they had no formal application process. He said the publisher was open to taking me, and was I interested?
I really do not remember if I said yes then — which would be unusual for me — or if I waited a while to think about it. But no matter which, that question was the beginning of saying “yes” to people and places that take me far from home and up the level of responsibility I have had as a college student, graduate student, social worker, wife, and hopefully-someday mother.
And I did say “yes” to that opportunity, and it was one of the best summers of my life.
Linking up with A Harvest of Blessing.