Today we have a big announcement. It’s a sad announcement and a happy announcement all at once. After more than a year working with APW, editor Lauren is leaving the site and heading off for big new adventures. We’ll miss having her on staff, for sure, but we’re also all delighted to see her grow professionally and spread her wings. We’ve already hired a new staffer to fill Lauren’s position, and you guys are going to be as excited about her as you are sad to lose Lauren. We’ll announce the new editor shortly (she’s currently training like a mad woman and finding her balance here). But today is about saying goodbye to Lauren, thanking her for all of her hard work and the ways she’s made APW grow, and wish her the very best. Here is her note to Team Practical:
A little over a year ago I started working with Meg and learning the ropes of APW—what the community of Team Practical really meant and how to successfully put together a website that was less like a blog and more like a magazine, a message board, and regular group therapy sessions all wrapped into one. Running all of that by yourself is an immense amount of work, and I remember the first week I interned and Meg had me finishing grad posts. She wrote me an email saying she went to the gym with her husband for the first time in a long time on a week day because I had taken some work off her hands. Work she would have normally been rushing to finish and stressing about during the time she wasn’t at her day job.
What she didn’t know was how much I needed to be part of something that used my skills. And that may sound silly, or maybe even overly dramatic, but when you graduate with a master’s degree and a lot of debt, and land in a world that isn’t hiring, where you realize the things you’re really, really good at aren’t employable, it makes you feel helpless and hopeless. After you apply for job after job after job and try to figure out your own way, try to figure out how to forge your own career path only to come up against wall after wall, it’s vital that someone finally gives you a chance. I’ve talked about this before, how Meg finally said yes and how grateful I am for that, and that is still true.
Working for A Practical Wedding has made me a better editor, given me a better eye for visual story telling, and given me the opportunity to continue moving forward. And that’s just the career-y stuff. I would have never met so many fabulous people, or seen how the internet can bring to together amazingly smart and thoughtful women, or been part of a positive feminist force if it wasn’t for that chance. And now I’m taking a leap, and leaving the amazingly nurturing nest of APW to see what other challenges await.
I didn’t come to A Practical Wedding because I had gotten engaged a few months before, though it seemed serendipitous that it all sort of fell into place like that. I didn’t come for free wedding swag and to take advantage (in the negative sense) of the truly fabulous and inspiring Team Practical vendors, though as I’m typing this I am rocking my Turtle Love Co. wedding ring—100% paid for because supporting artists is incredibly important to me. I joined Team Practical to work and to make something that excites me—to turn something that’s been my passion for years into my job. And that’s words and stories. The confidence that being your editor has given me, knowing that I can move forward and continue challenging myself and that I’ll be successful in that, has been the best gift anyone has given me.
So thank you Team Practical, and to Meg. You gave me the opportunity for a true first step, hopefully one of many.