Well, this sucks.
Last week I was given the unfortunate news that my position as Arts & Culture editor at CityBeat would be eliminated. I knew the risks of taking a print journalism job during at a time when the industry is hanging by a thread; still, I was too busy running around, interviewing rad people, and pigging out for my food column Grubby Bitch, to anticipate this happening.
I was faced with a big decision when I was let go from my staff position: Stay and continue freelancing for the paper, or leave the paper all together. After a week of deliberating, I have decided to end my relationship with the paper. I hope this sadness fades soon, but as I think about all the thank-you emails and gratitude from business owners and starving artists who say that my words helped them, I can't help but cry my eyes out. And I'm no pussy.
Even though I had only been a staff member/editor at the paper for 8 months, I have been writing my Grubby Bitch column for a year and a half. Being a columnist was a dream come true. For those who don't know me well, I wrote for my junior high paper, was editor in chief of my high school paper for two years, and wrote for my college paper, just for one semester because I was busy working on my writing studies degree.
When I was in second grade, my Mom helped me write a letter to the editor of the Blade Citizen-- the previous name of the North County Times. I was so excited about our class whale watching trip that I couldn't stop talking about it, and I think to shut me up, Mom had me get it down on paper. When the letter was printed I can still remember holding it, seeing my name and reading my words... to say that morning left an impression on me is an understatement. We bought a bunch of copies and brought them to my class. I was so proud.
Having a vision and seeing it through has given me a sense of pride and accomplishment that no job, or lost job for that matter, can take away. My ego or sense of self has not been bruised in all of this. I know I will continue kicking ass, with or without my name on a masthead with some title attached to it.
I am happy with the final stories I wrote for the paper. Particularly as I lay my column to rest. Without knowing, I saved one of my all time favorite restaurants-- Harry's Coffee Shop in La Jolla-- for last. It was also a wonderful experience getting to hang out with the elusive Cliff Arnold of Stardust Donut Shop and write about it.
I'll sign off by saying that it has been incredible meeting so many talented San Diegans. I love this city and the people who make it great. My inspiration to continue this kind of work has not been extinguished, but for now, I'm taking a break. As always, thank you for reading.
Grubby Bitch for life,
Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org