If my life were a musical, as I often like to believe it is, right now I would be delighting those around me with a wonderful rendition of “A Whole New World” from Disney’s Aladdin. In fact, that song could serve as the theme for my junior year at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and now the beginning of my senior year.
It’s funny to look back to when I was young, no older than 10, and I knew, with absolute certainty, that I was going to be a writer when I grew up. I did not know what this meant, what I would write or how one makes a career this way, but all of those were insignificant details. All I knew is I was always writing, whether it was in my free time, during recess, or at the dinner table. In a desperate fight against the injustice of a tyrannically enforced bedtime, I would often write under a blanket by flashlight when lights were supposed to be out. When my parents caught me, I would inform them it was their fault; after all, you cannot name your child Stori Long and then expect them not to write. Anyway, while I always possessed an undeniable passion for writing, this passion had no real form. Like all young writers, I had grand plans of writing the next great novel that would sell millions of copies around the world. Obviously, this dream had to grow and change when I graduated high school and, alas, my mind had yet to spawn a Pulitzer Prize winning novel, but I ended up being surprisingly okay with that.
My plans changed several times my first two years at Baylor, but one thing remained the same, my love for writing. What complicated this was that passion for writing was now coupled with a passion for youth ministry and I began to seek out ways to combine these two. So junior year, I plunged myself into the world of professional writing, and it is here that, if my life were a musical, the strains of “A Whole New World” would begin to play. It really felt as if a whole new world had opened up to me. There were so many different styles, types and fields of writing I never knew were out there! And each new world of writing I was introduced to birthed a different idea of how I could incorporate that style of writing into youth ministry.
Now I feel as though that world is opening up even further as I begin my very first professional writing internship with TSTC Publishing in Waco. Up until now all the writing I have done has been for classes or for fun, and I am so excited to see and experience a different side of the writing a world. I am excited to write in a completely different environment. I am excited to learn, grow and stretch myself as a writer in ways I never have before. I am excited for the different opportunities this will provide to help me gain an even firmer grasp on what I want to do with my life.
It is all still very uncertain for me. I do not know where I will be at the end of the year, this semester or even this week, but that’s okay. That state of now knowing what is next is one of my favorite places to be. It is exciting and exhilarating, and where God is waiting to surprise us! I am ready to be surprised!