• Alex Gerlach

A Pedacito of Alex Gerlach

Updated: Jun 19

I used to think that I had a pretty normal childhood. I had two parents, siblings, friends, a ranch-style home, and plenty of activities to keep me busy. But when I tell people about myself and all the things that brought me to where I am now, I realize how different my life was growing up.

Alex sitting on top of Mount Fløyen in Bergen, Norway

I was born in a not-so-small town in New Jersey about ten minutes from the Jersey Shore (no, not that Jersey Shore) and have lived there my whole life. I was raised mainly by my mother, who was a stay-at-home mom until I reached middle school. While my father worked, she stayed to support me and my autistic brother.

Mannasquan Inlet, Point Pleasant, New Jersey
Mannasquan Inlet, Point Pleasant, New Jersey
Sunrise at Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey
Sunrise at Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey

Now 20, you wouldn't even know that my brother was diagnosed with autism and ADHD. But when we were children, things were very different. I remember nights at the dinner table, trying to eat while he fussed over the texture of his food, or, the many times my mom had to drive to the school and pick him up when he had a bad day. To this day, I truly believe my brother would not be where he is today without her.

Alex and her brother at a Yankees Game in New York City
Alex and her brother at a Yankees Game in New York City
A photo of Alex and her mother from a newspaper feature about raising a child with Autism

I've always been a really creative person, something I inherited from both my parents. But my interest in music I got from my father. Growing up, I would spend summer nights falling asleep to him playing Blackbird by the Beatles on his guitar. I eventually got involved in voice lessons before teaching myself to play the piano, deciding that music was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.


"If you spend your life doing what you love, you'll never work a day in your life." – a quote from my father

Alex with her father and brothers at a Yankees Game in New York City
Alex with her father and brothers at a Yankees Game in New York City

Because of this dream, I auditioned to attend the Performing Arts Academy instead of my town's high school. But after years of music theory, music history, voice lessons, and performances, I was exhausted. My desire to be a recording artist slowly began to fade, and like anyone else, I wondered what I was supposed to do next. I made my way down the list of professions from psychology to physical therapy before settling on teaching.

Alex performing at her final showcase for Performing Arts Academy at Ocean County College
Alex performing at her final showcase for Performing Arts Academy at Ocean County College

Growing up, I always had my nose in a book, whether I was staying up till the wee morning hours under a blanket with a flashlight, or reading behind the safety of my desk during class. When I walked away from music, that left space for my true love: literature. And what was the first, and safest career I thought of? Becoming an English teacher.


If this article is any indication, it's pretty clear I did not become a teacher. After graduating high school, I attended Rider University before transferring to The College of New Jersey my sophomore year. I got as far as completing my first round of fieldwork before deciding that being a teacher wasn't for me, no matter how much I loved it. So, I took a leap of faith and dropped my education major my junior year to pursue writing.

Alex eating dinner in Venice, Italy
Alex eating dinner in Venice, Italy

Interested in Venice? Check out Alex's other article about visiting the "City of Canals."

Sitting outside the Fantoft Stave Church, Bergen, Norway
Sitting outside the Fantoft Stave Church, Bergen, Norway

Check out these articles to learn more about Bergen, Norway and Stave churches.


I wrapped up my final year of college studying abroad in London, exploring the centuries-old city in the hopes of uncovering my own literary genius. It was there I wrote my first poem, started a novel, and began to feel like a writer. By the time I graduated, I knew I was exactly where I needed to be.

A poem written by Alex in her South Kensington apartment in London, England
A poem written by Alex in her South Kensington apartment in London

After I graduated college, I landed a role as a Technical Writer at a small software company during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since leaving that position in January, I've spent time freelancing, specializing in branding and online content, while working on my personal writing.


Losing my full-time job changed my life and introduced me to opportunities I never fathomed, like joining Pedacitos Blog. It made me realize I no longer wanted the back-breaking 9 to 5 or to throw my 20's away hustling. Instead, I want to explore all this world has to offer and lead my life with happiness.

Alex sitting on a stone ledge near the Fantoft Stave Church in Bergen, Norway

Here at Pedacitos Blog, I work as the Marketing and Communications Manager to ensure the stories we share in this community are heard, alongside writing my own. My goal is to contribute something meaningful and powerful to the world, and the people around me. I want readers to feel connected and heard, no matter where they come from. I look forward to sharing more of my own stories while contributing to the growth and success of Pedacitos Blog.


Want to read some of Alex's other articles? Check out her profile page and follow her as she travels the world!

 

Want to know more? Are you interested in becoming a contributor for Pedacitos? We'd love to hear your stories! Send me a message and I will get back to you!

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