Thursday, June 19, 2008
Stop the presses......
I'm a writer. I've considered myself a writer since the fourth grade when I started my oh-so-serious mystery novel called "Witness." In junior high and high school I was an editor/writer and in college I wrote for both the local paper and the school paper. Then from the second I turned my tassel I entered into another glorious stint as a journalist at Deseret Morning News. But this month I did a triple salchow off the writing train and executed a shaky, unstable landing into the world of advertising. Umm. Crap? Well it is something that I ask myself everyday. I went from knowing my stuff and being completely confident in my craft, to sitting nervously in a lobby at Microsoft, marking my moves in how I am going to get up and walk into a meeting after my boss comes to usher me through the high security doors. Notes to self: Make sure your sandal is completely on before you stand up, do a cleavage check before the hand shake to make sure they haven't worked their way out on you, don't trip on your pant legs (they are a little baggy after losing 5 lbs of since starting this job - stress and anxiety becomes me).
Those are the few things I can control. It's not often in my life that I have NO idea what I am doing, but now I am living it day to day. I am the weird silent girl in meetings, like the foreigner who just smiles and nods. I constantly second guess every move - sending an e-mail, making a phone call, going to the restroom. They've said 'in a year, you will be fine." So only 351 more days of bumbling around in the dark. It's a challenge, the people are nice and I know it will get easier. It's a new challenge and a good job and that's that. But my greatest contention is my fall from being a journalist. Jobs are jobs in most cases. But as a journalist, it's a lifestyle. Though I remain comfortable and reinforced in my decision to bail, I am still mourning that departure from the exclusive fraternity that is journalism. Use-to-be's don't count in that world. I may not miss the erratic schedule, the thankless tasks, the long hours, the condescension from high public officials, the pettiness of over-involved and uninformed citizens, the hate mail and the life-sucking legislature, but there are some things that are irreplaceable. I'll miss that fleeting moment of accomplishment after you send a story, the smug satisfaction after you have rightly nailed someone to to the wall and I think I will even miss the flutter of activity before a deadline. Moreover I will miss the newsroom restroom "swap meet," the quote board, the practical jokes, the unique, and often whimsical, personalities that come with journalists (maybe even the lingerers from time to time). And most of all I will miss those damn thrill-seeking window washers that I was on a first name basis. John had kind eyes. I like kind eyes. Good game.