Athlete. Legend. Warrior.
These three words don’t describe me. They’re actually from Soul Cycle.
Let’s try this again…
Writer. Sports fan. Seeker (non-Quidditch).
I’m Jen Neale, and I have no idea what I’m doing with my life.
I take that back — I’m figuring it out as I go. Career paths aren’t nearly as straight as we’d like to them be.
I received a BA in Business Administration – Finance from Cal State Fullerton. Exciting, I know. I spent the better part of ten years working in the retail industry as an accountant. To be honest, I was in it for the money, and I was miserable. I needed an outlet.
That’s when I re-discovered my love for writing, and combined it with my mildly-obsessive love for the Anaheim Ducks. While working, I started blogging at the site Anaheim Calling on the SB Nation network. Within a year, I moved up Managing Editor.
After a few years, Anaheim Calling had grown exponentially. I worked hard to make myself known in the hockey community, all while still working fulltime in accounting.
Then the Puck Daddy blog at Yahoo! Sports changed my life.
In one day I was: accepted into grad school at Pepperdine University (where I later earned an MA in Psychology), laid off from my third job in retail finance, and asked to join Puck Daddy as a writer.
The next four years at Yahoo! Sports were challenging, rewarding, and incredible. If you’d go back in time and tell 13-year-old Jen Neale that she’d be getting paid to write about hockey, she’d scream and run away. (C’mon, you’re a stranger from the future. What would you expect?)
Once the merger between Yahoo and Verizon was agreed upon, I was one of the many layoffs. It was heartbreaking. I felt like I didn’t know who I was anymore.
And thus the journey of self-discovery begins…again.
* * * * *
One last thing. Meet Dumbledore. Next to my family (pictured above), he’s the love of my life.