Tuesday, June 1, 2010

NaBloPoMo: Navigating the waters of uncertainty

I've been neglecting my blog lately. This isn't an apology; it's more of a fact. I needed a break from writing, and I'm sure you needed a break from reading.
As you know, I've been desperately searching for a job. Any job would do, but I believed my heart was telling me to stay in journalism, if I could. And somehow I found myself being wooed by an actual newspaper. And here I am, working in the field I've always wanted to work in.

Well, that's not exactly true. While I have been on the path to journalism since my junior year of high school, it was not my first love. When I was a child I wanted to work with animals. Like most children I changed my mind about my future profession several times, but it always involved animals. From a horse trainer to a veterinarian, there was always a clear focus on animals in my daydreams. And I still would drop everything if someone told me I could make a living caring for animals without having to go to school or get specialized training. In fact it was the heavy emphasis on math and chemistry in all courses of study at veterinarian schools that eventually kept me from fulfilling that childhood dream. A fleeting obsession in the 10th grade led me to explore the idea of forensic science, but again the math and chemistry requirements were just too much.
There was a turning point at the end of my junior year that led me to where I am today. As I was registering for my electives I was given a chance work for a semester under a professional. I agonized over the choice between a vet's assistant and a reporter position at the local newspaper. As fate would have it, I ended up choosing the newspaper and that was it: I had the bug.
And since then I've never wavered. Newspapers held me under their sway through college and my first real job.
And now here I am, working at my second job in newspapers. I'm living the "dream." Except it doesn't feel like that anymore.

My excuse for ignoring this blog for so long was that all my creative energies had to be directed towards the job search. But a month after landing a job in newspapers (the only one in my group of displaced journalists to do so), I still haven't really returned here to celebrate.
To be honest, the dream I've pursued for 7 years is fizzling for me. Now I no longer obsessively read newspapers, I don't love working at one and I can't even remember why I loved newspapers so much to begin with. Don't get me wrong, I still respect the media. When I reach my first permanent home, I will likely have a subscription to the local newspaper. I don't hate my job, either. I more or less just subsist there. I go to work and I come home. I break that up with trips to the dog park with Miyagi and yoga sessions, but I largely stick to that routine. And I cannot say that I am happy. Or I could, but I'd be lying.

It's truly disconcerting to be so lost. Despite all of the instability and fluidity that has marked my life, I have never felt this unsure about where I am going. It's worse because I feel as though I am regressing. All my friends spent college with no idea where they were headed, while I had it all but intricately mapped out. Now that most of them are finally finding their way, I am suddenly losing mine. And it is actually a scary way to live.

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