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read v's back story

not sure there's much more i could share about myself that isn't already laid out in the blog.  but a lot of people get a kick out of my hopscotch career so here goes...

growing up i wanted to be a surgeon, a stripper, and everything in between.  i was a bright kid and a pretty good student from a small town in new england.  but when i got to university, i spent very little time in class.  instead, i drank a lot of beer, smoked a lot of weed and slept away a lot of mornings on my mother's very slim dime.  after two years, i found myself of academic probation.  i moved home with my tail between my legs and a boat load of student loans.

i was pissed.  i was frustrated.  i felt like a disappointment.  secretly, i'd always thought that i'd be "somebody".  and there i was at 20, living at home with my parents, enrolling in classes at the local state college.  for me it was very humbling.  

the next few years were super challenging.  i worked full time as a bookkeeper at an engineering firm while taking a full load of classes.  in my spare time (haha) i interned for boston radio's #1 morning drive, "matty in the morning" (the 5-10am shift).  i assisted a quirky guy named art sears, his claim to fame was producing the arsenio hall show.  i spent my early mornings sifting through newspapers and digging up stories for matt to talk about on-air.  when art left, i moved into the news department with a local man-about-town named billy costa and stayed there for the duration of my two years with Kiss 108.  at the same time, i reported and anchored for a local cable news station.  i found i liked the biz.  and it seemed to like me back.  people were supportive.  it was fun.  so i pursued it eagerly.

when it came time to apply for formal internships, my granddad, a career newsman for CBS, urged me to seek out a gig with tribune broadcasting in washington dc.  i got the assignment and spent a semester field producing in the capital.  it was amazing.  on my third day there, i was sitting in a lecture room waiting for our guest speaker, ABC's veteran white house reporter ann compton, to arrive.  she burst in breathy and flushed and told us all that bill clinton just got caught with his dick in his intern's mouth.  monica lewinsky set the city on fire with gossip and it was totally exciting.

working for a small news shop my hands got really dirty.  i gathered soundbites and information for national newscasts, squeezed between sam donaldson and wolf blitzer in white house press secretary mike mccurry's gaggle briefings, sat 10 feet from bill clinton during the only two open pressers he held at the white house that spring, interviewed senator kennedy, madeline albright, janet reno and countless other lawmakers in the beltway.  i was 22.  it was effing amazing.  i was writing all the time.  not just voice overs and copy, but creative work, too.  i journaled my heart out, even being so bold as to mail in several submissions to washington's city paper.  little did i know i was honing my craft.

in the end, i graduated cum laude and hit the road with a trunk full of resume tapes and my bff lynne.  we zig-zagged our way down the eastern seaboard, stopping in small news markets for interviews along the way.  we made a stop in new orleans where an indian clairvoyant told me that i was destined to stand in the spotlight.  of course i assumed she meant i'd be the next katie couric...

14 months later, i was waitressing in duxbury, mass.  waiting, waiting, waiting for my callbacks.

one day my sister convinced me it was time to switch up my future-less situation.  she had worked for holland america line, a luxury passenger cruise line, for several years and hooked me up with a position in the entertainment department on one of their cruise ships, ms maasdam.  a few weeks later i was sailing through the panama canal when i got word that wjhg-tv in panama city beach, florida had an opening and wanted me to join them as a night-side producer and fill-in morning anchor.

i turned the job down.  i stayed at sea.  no one could believe i said no.  i've go to say, i even surprised myself.  it was a defining decision for me.

i sailed for the next two years, visiting ports from cartagena to casablanca, tromso to talinn.  more writing, more experiences, more opportunities to grow and learn through joy, pain, successes and failures.

when i moved back home, i picked up a position as a junior booker at ford model management in boston.  i stayed there for almost two years, taking on just about every job there was in that agency and picking up some modeling work along the way.  it was fun but emotionally challenging.  another powerful growth experience.

i left there and enrolled in grad school at lesley university.  i thought i wanted to be a middle school teacher.  this is such a random decision.  even as i'm writing it down it feels strange.  just doesn't fit.  after one semester of substituting, volunteer teaching and lesson plans, i realized i did not want to be a teacher.  i was awful at it.  mistake.  lesson learned.  evolution through error, i suppose.

so, of course, i applied to fashion school after next.  because that somehow made sense at the time.  boston school of fashion design.  loved it.  had so much fun.  was not the best student but totally enjoyed the experience.  learned to sew and make patterns and happily traipsed around back bay with my sketch portfolio and scraps of fabric.  

i started a golf apparel line called "van linsey".  it took several years to get it going but i was very proud of myself for finally pulling my shit together and creating something from nothing.  peddled the collection for a couple of years, meanwhile signing with dynasty models for commercial work, then had my third baby.  (oh yes, did i mention i got married between two of those jobs?  and had a couple of kids?)  breastfeeding an infant while doing traveling sales sucked.  so i put the business on a very high shelf.

notice a trend here?  i'm on the two-year plan.  i liken my past jobs to undercooked spaghetti.  the pasta just keeps sliding down the wall.  the only thing that's ever stuck is this - writing.  and the only thing that's ever set my professional world on fire was broadcasting.

so 35 years into this shindig called life i finally decided to follow my heart and blog.  mostly i write but occasionally i offer up a video purge.  and two years in, i'm STILL DOING IT!  hard to believe the commitment has lasted.  but there have been changes.  for one, i became a buddhist, which led me to launching a second blog called bringing up buddhas:  adventures in suburban buddhist mothering.  this new blogging endeavor is thrilling for me b/c through it i can see my path, all lit up and sparkly.  but i am still devoted to my original blog, everything old is new age again:  a place to learn about the new age movement and all its divine weirdness, the one that provided me with so much success and so many embarrassing, yet cathartic, moments.

is blogging a job for me?  no.  it's a passion.  i still have other professional goals that i'm working on, which i need to hold close to my vest.  goals that stir all these singular strands of pasta into a yummy plate of deliciousness...  maybe with a little garlic bread on the side.  i love garlic.  

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