I’ve always loved magazines.

I remember one summer at day camp, maybe between 4th and 5th grade, my friend Nicole and I thought it would be cool if we made our own fashion magazine.

Inspired by the stacks of old Teen and Vogue and Mademoiselle magazines the college-aged counselors would bring in for us to cut up during craft time, we decided to publish a collection of our favorite images of fluorescent biker shorts and push-down socks, with some hair and makeup tips (turquoise eyeshadow and puff-painted scrunchies, woo hoo!) for good measure.

Now remember, this was before the interwebs took over MY LIFE, and desktop publishing was just a glimmer in the eye of some ambitious geek who is probably counting their millions as I type. I’m pretty sure I still had my Commodore 64 at this point.

Our job as magazine “editors” basically consisted of cutting pictures out of the old magazines and gluing them onto pages of lined notebook paper before stapling everything together in a glossy, sticky, slightly crumpled bundle. We weren’t all that worried about presentation, so we were thrilled with the results! Our ideas about what was cool and important were right there in a collection for all to see! The magazine I publish now is slightly more sophisticated than that, but the thrill is the same.

My point is, you usually know what you like to do at a young age, even if you don’t realize it or haven’t yet figured out a way to make it work for you as an adult. I tend to be a little slow on the uptake when it comes to things like this, but I think I get it now.

What do you enjoy doing? Have you figured out how to make it work?

PS. Nicole showed our magazine to her mom, who suggested that we forego frivolous topics like fashion and create something geared towards helping young girls increase their self-esteem. We entertained the thought for approximately 47 seconds before promptly abandoning the whole magazine idea altogether. Don’t squash your kids’ dreams.

PPS: The title of this post always reminds me of Vanessa Bell Calloway’s turn as Prince Akeem’s Stepford-esque Queen to Be, so here’s the scene from Coming to America. Just for giggles.

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