Faces of Friday: Megan McCarty
The purpose of Faces of Friday: Faces of Friday is a new interview-based series that I am launching to provide readers with insight into the lives of some of the unique, inspiring, & influential people I have had the honor of meeting/ knowing. Life can take you to unexpected places and the people you will meet throughout the series are willing to share with you where their lives have taken them.
I believe that one of the most important things in this life is the connection we share with one another. Identifying with another human being is an amazing gift, and it can inspire you to learn, grow, create, and open your eyes to what the world has to offer. We are not alone in this crazy thing called life. Life is a beautiful thing filled with beautiful people, and not everyone gets the opportunity to share their story. I want to provide others the opportunity to share their story and I want to give you the chance to hear it, learn from it, and maybe, just maybe, identify with it. I believe wholeheartedly that we were all meant for incredible things. I hope you enjoy reading these stories, and I hope that they touch you in some way. We are all learning to navigate life’s murky waters, why not learn from each other along the way?
Writer, editor and ect.-er Megan McCarty, whose musings have appeared on Garance Doré, Apartment 34, Rue and in many magazines, can tell a damn good story. Follow along with her adventures – and misadventures – on Instagramand Twitter.
Where are you from?
I grew up in a tiny farming town in southeastern Wisconsin, where I spent all of my itty bitty years counting down the days to graduation so I could run the hell away. It’s truly lovely there – grasses are rolling, the lakes are serene – but small town living just wasn’t for me. I craved Picasso paintings and crumbly cobblestone streets and old men grumbling in foreign words that I didn’t understand.
Where do you live currently?
Somehow 10 years has escaped me, and I’ve been bopping around Minneapolis for the last decade. (Time, where’d you go?!) I live a skip away from one lake, and a hop away from another. It’ll always be home here, but lately I’ve been itching to explore new land – anywhere and everywhere, really, whose zip code doesn’t start with “5”.
Did you pursue higher education? What did you study?
I did! College brought me to Minnesota – less so for the University of Minnesota’s journalism school (major: journalism; other accidental major: cultural studies and comparative literature) and more so for that mighty Mississippi, that skyline and, well, reciprocity.
What do you do for a living? Is this always what you had planned to be doing?
I’ve always had a melting pot of interests: magazine writing, children, talking to strangers. After seven years of working as a magazine editor (imagine that!) I’m now freelance, filling in my days with various writing and editing projects that come my way, nannying The Cutest Kids Ever and serving at one of Minneapolis’ top restaurants. It’s a constant hustle.
What inspires you?
Kindness, that almost irritable pitch of children’s laughter, things that are bigger than me, things that are older than me, elderly women who wear big furs, my mother’s handwriting, new streets, heart-on-sleeve poems.
What is your personal mantra?
A bad date = a good story. // Zipper when merging. // If it scares you, it’s good for you.
Has life taken unexpected turns? And if so what were they?
Since I was a gap-toothed third grader, I worked towards being a magazine editor. It wasn’t something I dreamed of; I worked for it. I stalked editors, I read everything I could, I interned for free, for so long. So, several years into my magazine career, when the company I had poured my heart into decided to go another direction with my position, essentially eliminating it, I was dumbfounded. My whole identity was wrapped up in that work, and I had to find myself again. So I journaled, I napped, I went to yoga and started down a slightly new path that I’m still paving every day.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
Once, while crying over a breakup and a career roadblock and overall Big Life Changes with my dear friend and fairy godmother Elizabeth Dehn – you may know her as Beauty Bets – she told me a little story I’ll never forget. With a mountain of French fries and two glasses of rosé between us, she reminded me to think about my childhood self and how I’d never treat her like I treat my adult self.
We can all be so cruel to ourselves, so critical of ourselves, but now I think about that ultra-ambitious little Megsie who wanted to get the hell out of Farmland, USA every time that mean inner voice acts up. “Be nice to my Megsie.” If you could give advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Unfortunately I’m a stubborn-as-hell Taurus and would never have taken advice from anyone, but here it goes: Get on that plane. Go. Read. Learn. Turn off your phone and call your mom.