A little over 7 months ago, on a Sunday afternoon, I was reading an article in Cosmopolitan magazine. By some twist of fate, I had begun getting the magazine every month in the mail. I had never paid for a subscription or signed up for one, but a few months earlier they just started coming. When I was younger, an issue of Cosmo was like rebellion gold. Racy articles and male models had my friends and I sneaking them to sleepovers each month, gasping and giggling with each page turn. Like most women, as I got older, they lost their glamour a bit. Once you read one “Best Sex Ever” article, you’ve read them all. At 26, I was reading Cosmo for the true life stories, book recommendations and letter from the editor, then passing them on to a friend.
On this particular Sunday, I read an article about a woman in a relationship and once I was done with the article I thought to myself, “I seriously could have written that.” My next thought was, ” Why don’t I try to write something like that?” The wheels of my mind started turning , my confidence was high and the idea of being shot down or ignored didn’t bother me. If there is one thing I do, it is put myself out there without hesitation. Nothing amazing happens to a woman who is too scared to come out of the shadows and I am living this life with the goal of enjoying many amazing moments.
I flipped to the front of the magazine and saw that at the end of the letter from the editor in each edition, there is an email address for Joanna Coles, Cosmo’s Editor in Chief. I figured this was not her actual email (I was right) but thought someone might monitor it regardless so I wrote her an email. I told her my name, I pitched my article idea, told her why it would be something readers would enjoy, linked some of my work and sent it off into the world.
Then I forgot about it.
Three weeks later on the very last day of Lent, April 2nd, I received two emails. This part of my story is the most important because every opportunity I have been given has been given to me by God. It is by His grace that my life unfolds the way it does, He opens the doors and I run through them with my hair on fire, trusting fully in Him. On the last day of Lent, after spending the previous 6 weeks sacrificing in a way that was both beautiful and challenging for me personally, I got an email from a job application I filled out a month earlier and I got an email from Cosmo. It was a surreal moment and it was not a coincidence. I got the job and I got the article, (turns out Joanna Coles herself loved the pitch!) God is amazing my friends.
I am sure some readers or some of my friends out there probably think it is ridiculous that I would say faith opened a door to a crazy, over the top, magazine like cosmo but through this experienced I have realized that my own opinion of the magazine has changed drastically. Yes, the magazine has some raunchy articles and yes they wrote a couple sentences around the text of my piece that I would never write myself, but through this process I realized that comso’s main goal is women empowerment. They want women to build up other women, embrace their fellow sisters and rally around each other. They strive for real articles that break down traditional judgments in an attempt to show that behind our differences, we are the same. We all just want to be accepted and loved for who we are and the editors at cosmo want articles that evoke that in the reader. I love that and I am part of that movement and I am proud to be part of this crazy, racy, empowering, uplifting, motivating magazine.
Over the next 4 months I worked with the editors of Cosmo. I was initially extremely nervous about writing for them. My style of writing is honest but conservative. I wanted to do my article justice without compromising my integrity. I went into an initial agreement of 600 words and I started writing. 1,000 words later, I couldn’t cut my word count down anymore. I sent it to my editor and to my surprise, she asked for more. More examples, more details, more words. We worked through edits and examples and a few laughs. She changed some words for effect and she pushed me slightly out of my conservative comfort zone. Eventually, I accepted the small changes she wanted to make and stopped worrying. Those mentioned in my article had to agree that I represented their feelings and reactions accurately and in the end, 900 of my very own words were published in one of the nations largest women magazines in August, 2015.
After it came out I went through stages of pride to embarrassment. I was thrilled yet terrified. I was afraid I gave too much of myself and overly exposed my heart. I was comforted, overjoyed and deeply touched by everyone that went out and grabbed a copy and those that shared their thoughts about it with me. Looking back, it was one of the most exciting moments of my life and one I will cherish forever. I hope I am able to write for other publications in the future but for now, I am taking a break from submissions and pitches. I want to spend time writing because it is something I love and something that brings joy to my soul. I want to write whatever I want without fitting into a mold. I want to maintain my honest authenticity and I want to spend my weekends here, on this site, with you.
I wanted to share the details of this experience with you because I want you to chase every last crazy beautiful dream you have. Never be scared of failure and never let rejection slow you down. I am asked often, “How did you get in cosmo?” My answer is always that I just had the balls to put myself out there. There was no magical connection or person I had on the inside. I was just the reader of a magazine who had an idea and tried to make it happen. All I had to do was believe in myself. If a door opens for you, run through it. Don’t be scared, don’t fear judgment or other people’s opinions, just run and enjoy every single amazing minute.