When I was a little girl, I dreamt of working for a fashion magazine. Aside from the fact that it was an uninformed aspiration at the time, the main problem was that I was nothing like the girls in those glossies I read. At first I was a lot younger, and when I overcame that I was still chubby and socially awkward, with no self-esteem to boot. I couldn’t do it, so I didn’t think I could do it.

So that dream was set aside for a passion that was still partially related but which didn’t care at all about my looks, personality, and sense of self-worth. And I’m thankful for that passion, because I’d like to think that music writing built my self-esteem and gave me that vital break from the bullying, the judging, and the teenage angst.

Considering what has just happened to my life though, I realize that I may have been subconsciously on the road that leads to a career at a fashion magazine after all. College came around and chubby, wallflower me turned into a well-dressed, driven workaholic and because of my lack of self-esteem I didn’t believe people when they told me I was pretty or smart or accomplished. College went on and I wasn’t just a music writer — I became a popular culture critic with a critical eye for how the culture industry operates, and I somehow amassed enough writing projects to fill two pages on my resume. I got my first real job writing for a music channel and I was determined to become an influential music writer, only to have my (already-bleak) expectations of the music and media industries shattered.

But life twists in weird ways, and now I find myself less than a week away from starting as a copy editor for the publisher of that very magazine I read the most as a little girl. This was supposed to be just a dream, an innocent childhood aspiration, and I had already accepted long ago that it would remain that way.

So if there’s anyone I’m doing this for, it’s that 10 year-old girl who religiously bought fashion magazines every month just to stare at all the clothes she thought she’d never get to wear, the makeup she thought wouldn’t work on the lost cause that was herself, to read about the girls she was resigned she’d never be like. Because eleven years later she’s finally gotten her chance — to buy all those clothes, to genuinely feel good about herself, to surpass all her expectations of who she’d be and what she’d achieve for herself.

Can I say it? Dreams do come true, even the ones you’ve already abandoned.

This is a revised version of a previous entry I posted on Tumblr.

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