As part of the new editorial changes around here, I won't be writing on this site anymore come 2012. It's too bad! I've really enjoyed writing here—the writers are very talented, I was permitted to write about anything I wanted, and the audience is huge. But new leadership brings new plans.
I've felt privileged to be able to tell so many of you about some of the awful things going on in the world. Oh, and share some of the more hope-provoking things as well, but what can I say? I think a lot of things in our world are messed up, that our priorities as a culture are totally backward, that we've adopted psychopathic policies toward the vulnerable and defenseless (from homeless people to kids in zero-tolerance public schools), and that we've lost our way. I feel personally obligated to point the bad stuff out to you so that maybe, just maybe, it will result in a change/make a difference/bring about a better alternative. Hopefully I will be able to continue that sort of work elsewhere, and soon.
Why am I leaving? It's not by choice, obviously. It's not because of poor performance: in my two months as a full-timer I was fifth (October) and second (November) in unique visits, which are even more important than page views (December's output has been lower than usual because I've taken some days off). It wasn't because I was a flake—Iworked almost 90 days without a day off, so color me committed. I always worked from home, so it's not like I secretly stole somebody's fancy yogurt from the fridge everyday or threw up last night's Hypnotiq-infused cocktail all over the Gawker Editorial Team Official Work Station until people couldn't take it anymore. (I don't even drink Hypnotiq! Or any other alcohol, come to think of it.) There was some talk about resource allocation, changing priorities going forward, and shifts being shifted. I wasn't a full-time staffer, and was the last one hired (first one retired). It's one of those things.
I'll need a new job very soon. I have $140,000 in law school loan debt and that won't go away until my parents finally win the Lucky Lotto (my mom hasn't been praying hard enough, obviously). I'm not married to an investment banker (thanks to the excellent Max Read, I now know why that's a good thing) or any other rich man (rarely meet them) who can support me during my "transition." I'd really like to find a full-time job with benefits and some stability. Oh, and "opportunities for growth." Seriously, you need those. I like to be challenged. That was one of the fun aspects of this job—every day you had to start over again. Only as good as your last post, etc.
Although writing is wonderful I'm very open to opportunities to help people more directly. I have many interests, so how this happens is somewhat open. My interests in civil liberties and justice aren't going away, so I know that jobs that involve promoting or even discussing fairness and equality for all would be great fits. For personal and philosophical reasons I have a strong interest in mental health issues, and believe my insights could benefit an organization that works on those issues. I'm interested in technology and the Internet—specifically a. the ways they're redefining communication, and b. the ways the government is regulating them. I'm eager to do more to help homeless and mentally ill people—I'm open to solid volunteer opportunities in NYC that would get me on that path again. I enjoy reading, writing, research, and talking to people. Travel is also great—I used to live in Central Europe and miss it.
I can make it on my own, but not alone. So please let me know if you know of a place that needs a writer who has a JD and an interest in civil liberties, intellectual property, Internet/tech stuff, psychology/mental health, and making the world better/smarter/more creative/more democratic. I'm currently based in NYC but am open to moving again for the right position and the right place.
Thank you for reading this and anything else I have ever written. Thanks to the people who encouraged me and told me that I was good at this, and to the people who informed me that my stories resulted in actual change. Thanks to the other writers out there who have followed me on Twitter and showed me support. Thanks to Remy Stern for giving me a chance, and to Hamilton Nolan for telling Remy Stern to give me a chance. Thanks to the other writers and editors at this site and other Gawker Media sites for being helpful and friendly during my time here. Thanks to my parents for being kind, down-to-earth, blue-collar people who made sure I had more opportunities in life than they had.
Update: Thanks to everyone who has commented, Twitter-followed, and/or sent well wishes. Also, I must give thanks to AJ Daulerio for offering me the chance to write a farewell post, and to Gawker for hosting such a post. Millions of people are in the same position I am in right now, minus the benefit of having such a forum where they can announce their job loss and discuss their career interests and plans. I'm sorry that I didn't acknowledge any of this earlier—it was a failure on my part.
[Images of a fashionably insecure giraffe and NY Post columnist Andrea Peyser are by the author]