And if I made a fool, if I made a fool, if I made a fool
On the road, there's always this
And if I'm sewn into submission
I can still come home to this
Man. The world is weird. And sometimes, it can surprise you.
I've been hired by SI.com as a contributing blogger.
This post has been, oddly, very difficult to write. I've started, stopped, and Ctrl-A + Deleted at least 10 times over the past week. A very big part of me didn't even want to write it. I feel...uncomfortable. But I obviously owe it all to you guys because you've been along on this journey for as long as I have.
You've put up with my narcissistic rants, my incessant tweeting that has effectively spammed your timelines, and my Facebook linking that doesn't even work for most of you. You've let me sleep on your couches, driven me back to my hotels/hostels, bought me meals and drinks, comped me tickets, credentialed me, all out of simple kindness. And of course, you've spent your time reading the things that I wrote, no matter how juvenile and self-indulgent (seriously, how many of you ever thought you'd read *that* many posts about Sam Stosur), and you told other people about things that I wrote, and they told other people, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
All of this has given me the freedom and the drive to do what I've done for the past three years. Most of you were around when I quit my job. That was pretty darn scary and traumatic. But you guys gave me the confidence to take the plunge, knowing (hoping?) that things would work out. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Y'all saved a very weary soul with your extraordinarily kind words.
And so the journey continues. SI.com will be relaunching/rebranding their tennis blog (currently called Open Source), with an eye towards bringing tennis to both mainstream and hardcore fans. I'll be the woman behind the bloggin' wheel with the goal of bringing my own take on this little crazy yellow ball sport to a wider audience, while staying true to my convictions as both a tennis fan, a writer, and, in some ways, an entertainer. I'm not gonna lie, I am very very excited for the opportunity and very thankful to SI.com for taking a chance on me. Lord knows I'll bust my butt to try and justify the risk. I'll let you know when the blog launches. Hopefully you'll still be keen to read my ramblings there.
To put any "sellout" fears to rest, please know that I thought long and hard about this move and I wouldn't have taken the job if I didn't get assurances that I would have the freedom that I need to cover the sport the way I'd like to. Sure, I'll be giving up some things, but they are things that I am willing to let go in exchange for an opportunity to get more people excited about tennis.
So the most common question I hear when I've broken the news to family and friends is "BUT WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO FORTY DEUCE?????" It's a great question. It's a question I ask myself. Here's what I know.
- Forty Deuce will remain open for business. I'm not shutting it down.
- I will continue to write for Forty Deuce.
- I'll continue tweeting from @FortyDeuceTwits
- I'll continue updating the Forty Deuce Facebook Page.
Past that, I have no clue until everything starts rolling. I could still post here five times a day or I could post here once a week. Balancing both projects will be a work in progress. Who knows, I could drop an F-bomb the first day and get fired (JUST KIDDING BOSSES WHO ARE READING THIS), in which case I'd be back at FD crackin' blue jokes until the cows come home. Or I could find that I can get all my thoughts and opinions out at SI and thus find no reason to post on FD. Bear with me and I'll figure out a way to make this work.
But all that is beside the point. I guess all I really wanted to say in this post, and I've admittedly done a really clumsy job of doing it, is thank you. Really and truly. You have all been so good to me (am I tearing up right now? NO.) and no media outlet, let alone SI.com, would have given me a shot if it wasn't for all of you reading what I wrote. It's truly humbling.
Oh, and also? If you love the sport and you want to somehow get involved in it, do it. Start a blog, start a tumblr, dust off that camera and learn how to use Flickr, open a Twitter account, go get degrees that can serve as an entry point into getting into sports. Follow your passion, be good at what you do, and you just never know. Success is never guaranteed, but you work hard, show your commitment, and have the skills to back it up, who knows.
All I know is that I started this rinky dink blog three years ago and have since become really great friends with one of the first ever commentors on this site. Three years later, I've somehow landed a writing gig and she's a Director of Important Things (unofficial title) at a premier WTA tournament. Heck, Uncle Jamie won a writing contest to get his Tennis Channel gig and now he's writing books with Monica Seles. And our good boy Brodie was a loyal FD commenter and now he's on Getty Images getting papped taking notes next to Maria Sharapova. All I'm saying is, things can happen. The world is weird.
Alright. Group hug time. I love you guys. I hope you'll still be my friends.
I'm sure you have lots of questions. Feel free to let them rip in the comments and to the extent I can, I'll answer them.