Once a journo always a…


I once heard somewhere that the only thing constant in life is change. I’ve never disagreed with the statement but lately its occurred to me just how true it is. I’m at the point where my life exhibits more consistency and stability then compared to any phase here before. In more ways than one, this is the most concrete things have ever been for me… in terms of my job, family, relationships, friendships…all of it feels solid. And though the ground beneath my feet is sturdy, every day I witness the tides of change that others are subject to.

In the five or six odd months since joining this field I’ve already watched people move in and out of cubicles whether to change careers, pursue further education or to enjoy a break… they have been brave enough to allow change. As journalism takes a backseat and other matters became more pressing for them, I wonder how long my time here will be. Not just this specific office and my middle cubicle, but how long can I claim “journalist” as my occupation. Perhaps it’s because being a journo never figured into my plans (except when I was 15 and everything from being a lawyer to Miss World was an option), I never saw myself in the middle of a news room, filing reports, hunting down stories and yet here I am.. day in and day out (save for my blessed weekly day off), calling, asking, searching, finding, quoting, editing, writing, writing, writing…

Things feel so… perfect, but I know it won’t stay this way. Life will happen and in time I will find myself moving on… but as sure as I am of life right now, that’s exactly how unsure I am of the ambiguous future.  While sitting at my desk, my designed space looking more and more “mine”, I wonder if this is where I’m supposed to be.

I can confidently say that everything I’ve experienced so far has conspired to bring me exactly where I am now, and there is no doubt that the events that transpire today have a purpose in where I will be tomorrow.  I lack the gift of prophesy, but my 20/20 hindsight comes equipped with a magnifying glass. Based on six months of reflecting, I’ve come to the conclusion that being a “journalist” is a very good fit for me.

The education that I disliked in classrooms, textbooks, and power point presentations, I lap up in the lives and words of the people I interview. The questions that I don’t want Wikipedia to answer about my country, I find solutions in my hunts in and around the city. The desire to know, to learn, is pushed, born, and reborn.

I have days where I feel like I am doing nothing to contribute to the greater good, a lot of my stories lack the ability to bring change… but transformation takes time and so I can’t say if I’ve “done anything”.. or not.

I ask myself if I could do this forever… if my mom worrying about me not getting home until 10 every night (and closer to midnight on others) is worth it. I ask if I could sustain myself on the meager salary I collect each month (highly unlikely). I worry about how I will nourish and manage time for my new relationship (he says he doesn’t mind my erratic schedule, for now…). I worry I’m missing out on the lives of my friends (are a few fb posts and sporadic emails enough?). I toy with the idea of a 9-5… a different kind of stability… but the truth is, when I imagine leaving here…leaving behind the hours of writing, the unending assignments, the various stages of editing, I can’t picture doing anything else.

For now, I’m where I want to be and that’s good enough…sooner or later, shit will happen in the family, my relationship will have to confront looming obstacles, my job will suffocate parts of me and friendships will change, people will walk in and others will walk out… change is a’ coming and I’m in no rush. Years down, I wonder how much  being “a journalist” will affect my identity… a strange concept since I believe I’m sure of who I am… but I pick up and drop roles every day and in allowing these things to happen, I suppose, I’m becoming more me.

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2 comments
  1. Aakar said:

    Being a ‘journalist’ may not affect your relationships with your family and friends though you will reach home at 10pm. But as you have said sooner or later there will be conflict because, change is continuous process in life. At the same time, there are many journalist like you, and everyone seems to be ‘Okay’, so you do not have to think much.

    Anywayz, all the best for you career.

  2. I agree with Aakar dai too. Well, in my opinion the real point hides in distributing necessity of family or personal. And arises the question to what extent the matter is thought or processed. And the matters rolls up, may this extent to zero or total 360.

    Well, wish you all the best.

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