Love, Life Stories

I checked my pride at the door and took another unpaid internship at 27

For the first time in my life I can feel my writing improving. I'm encouraged to develop my own voice, find my own little niche in the world, and kick the hell out of it.

I had a full-blown breakdown at the ripe old age of 26. I had just finished graduate school. I had just moved back to my parents house. I was 26. I had absolutely 0 job prospects. I had absolutely no fucking idea what I was going to do with my life. Luckily I had saved a little bit of money and could afford to live for a few months before I became destitute and/or financially reliant on my (elderly) parents.

But the emotional toll of everything that had been going on in my life during graduate school caught up with me once I got home. My department in grad school was ridiculously toxic. And at that point in my life I didn’t have the vocabulary to explain what was wrong. I didn’t develop that vocabulary for several months, almost a year.

So I did the only thing I could think of. I started to write a blog. It wasn’t my first blog. I’ve had a few blogs over the years; most recently I wrote about my experiences as an expatriate in Qatar while I was in school.

[bctt tweet=”I had a full blown breakdown at the ripe old age of 26.” username=”wearethetempest”]

I had also recently completed a graduate thesis that had turned out to be a horrific, embarrassing mess. And for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how I could have done a better job. Because even after 12 years of grade school, 5 1/2 years of undergraduate schooling, and 2 years of graduate school I had never had any real editorial feedback.

To make matters worse, I’ve got a bit of an ego about my writing. So when my thesis turned out to be a horrible, embarrassing mess, my ego took a hell of a hit.

This, coupled with the fact that I want to write professionally for a living eventually, really made me reevaluate my life. Where could I go professionally from here?

Cue total breakdown.

So I started writing a blog, and in my head it was the kind of wisdom I wished I could pass on to my teenaged nieces. If only they cared.

On a good day I would get double digit views on a post. But I told myself the point of writing wasn’t for page views, I was writing to work on my craft and to develop the discipline I very clearly lacked.

Little did I know that one day a friend of mine would refer a friend of his to my little blog (his friend being Laila, CEO of the Tempest) and that she would read my blog, let alone like it enough to invite me to take on a fellowship with the Tempest.

[bctt tweet=” I told myself the point of writing wasn’t for page views.” username=”wearethetempest”]

And that’s how I found myself doing yet another unpaid internship at the ripe old age of 27. But let me tell you, I’m so glad I did. For the first time in my life I can feel my writing improving. I’ve got editors that will tell me what works and what doesn’t, and why. I’m encouraged to develop my own voice, find my own little niche in the world and kick the hell out of it. After barely 6 months, I’ve found a sense of purpose in my writing that I’ve never felt before.

But even more powerful, I’ve found a community of ass-kicking female writers that are changing the world. So while I’m incredibly proud of the work I’ve been able to produce during this editorial fellowship, I’m most proud of being a part of the Tempest community.

  • Alex bint Eisa

    Alex bint Eisa is a Cuban-American with an MA in Gulf Studies from Qatar University, she specializes in the relationship between religion and government in the Arab Gulf states. She spent 4 years living in the Gulf. During the day she teaches social studies to kids, after work she enjoys discussing the intersection of politics and religion and binge-watching sitcoms.