Wednesday, January 14, 2009

1 am mutterings

I can’t sleep. Why can’t I sleep? It’s because I’m dreaming big awake dreams, dreams of what I want to do, what job would satisfy me for a lifetime, what would keep me entertained and on my toes and committed?

I believe that writing will. It’s the one activity I have been doing since I learned how to do it. The longest running entertaining activity. And to put a spin on this writing; I decided recently I wanted to be a journalist, or a magazine staff writer—something where I’d be learning about new things all the time, and I would be reaching a larger audience, and I wouldn’t always be selling something like I do when I write for companies. I want a byline. I want to make an impact. I want to contribute something to my community.

It’s strange how it took me coming all the way to Chile to realize, that for the first time, I want to feel like I am a part of a community. That I want to be part of the dialogue. That I want to finally hear the problems so I can be a part of a solution. I am so ashamed to be the poster girl for my ambivalent generation, but I’m it. Up until now, I’ve been super happy and only slightly guilty to have ignored current events, to have sat out on debate, to have watched events unfold from the sidelines as if I were merely a spectator and the outcome would never effect me, no matter who won.

I have never protested anything in my life. I have never civilly disobeyed. I was one of few people who showed up in my political geography class when the professor told us it would be okay to go out and protest. I’m not sure that it’s just because I’m a rule follower. I think it’s more than that. That I’m afraid. Afraid to take a side---for fear that it will create voices of opposition, more conflict, only this time, the conflict will be hurled at me. To get involved would mean I would have to believe wholeheartedly in my opinion…and I never felt I was ever really “right” about anything. I found it so hard to argue anything growing up because I would inevitably agree with both sides of a truly difficult match up.

So, because of this, I never saw journalism as a place where I would write, where I would want to get involved. I saw newspapers and the news as being incredibly negative with nothing ever good happening in the world but I was judging without really reading. What these reporters wrote, what any reporter writes, has a chance to reach and effect thousands of people; to start movements, to stop wars, to make a difference on a scale of community, region, as a nation, and maybe even as a world. I can’t imagine a life without being involved in this conversation. So I will converse.

It comes as such a big disappointment to hear from my parents that newspapers are a dying medium (perhaps), that the Internet is the way to go (also perhaps), and that maybe I can be the weather girl for a news channel instead (very funny guys). But I want to write. There must be someone making money out there writing. There’s so much more writing than ever before! It is online, it is still in newspapers, it is being set for the teleprompters. I don’t know how I’m going to do this. I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I’m going to make a comfortable living writing. I’m going to support myself, my dog and my two cats on this salary; I swear to it.

Now, I just have to figure out how. Chile will be my starting point. Though it is frustrating that I can't access millions of magazines like I can in the States, and researching in Spanish is always challenging, I am saving money by being here.

I will not waste this moment. I have an opportunity to start something great. I will not quit. And in not quitting, I have already…eventually…succeeded.

Que te vaya bien (and sorry for the spelling errors or missing's 1am!)

C in C

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