Social Media
Moms in Training
Get Adobe Flash player

Don't Miss a Latte!
My Craft Journal
The journal that this archive was targeting has been deleted. Please update your configuration.
The journal that this archive was targeting has been deleted. Please update your configuration.
« No More | Main | Sisters »
Monday
Nov122012

Election Day

Fourteen years ago--and no, I cannot believe it has been that long--I spent the first Tuesday in November in a downtown Chicago newsroom covering local and state elections. I called in voting results from a now-forgotten-in-my-mind government office  that belonged to the monolith that is the ThompsonCenter/DaleyCenter/CityHall/CookCounty collection of buildings in the South Loop.

It felt strange to be in a government building so very late at night--and with so many other people. I remember realizing that one of the journalists crowded into that room was an on-air reporter for a local TV station, who periodically did a stand-up to update viewers at home on the vote. As always, I uneasily wondered just how friendly I was supposed to be with those who surrounded me--we were all reporters, sure, but we were also competitors.

The next day, after a late night of reporting, writing, and yes, celebrating at a nearby bar, I went back to the newsroom at what seemed like an ungodly early hour after such a short night. I'm sure I suspended my strict graduate school budget in favor of a latte fix to get me through the day: a classmate and I had to write a story  about the results for the next day's paper.

As we reviewed our assignment, my classmate, who was smart, thoughtful, and incredibly nice even for a Midwesterner, seemed to get a wee nervous about everything that needed to happen to get our story done. Shockingly, I did not, which would have been far more in character. After all, I'd been waking up at 1:30 a.m. nearly every night for the previous two years, thanks to the stress (much of it self-imposed) of being a schools reporter for a weekly paper in small-town Virginia. Not surprisingly given such lovely work-related sleep habits, I had decided that I clearly was not meant to be a daily newspaper reporter.

Yet here I was, on the day after the election, doing just that--writing and reporting a daily story on deadline like it was no big deal.  I talked my classmate off the journalistic ledge. We made a reporting plan. We called people. We shared notes. And yes, we filed our story on time . As we worked on the piece, I realized something had changed during my journey from Virginia to Chicago. Gone was the familiar feeling of white-knuckled dread that had become my very unwelcome but persistent deadline companion. Gone were the doubts that had absolutely plagued me since I left my "safe" job as an associate magazine editor for the opportunity--and challenge--of being a small-town newspaper reporter.

In their place, I found a truly unexpected faith in my abilities to make a story happen, even when so much was unknown and uncontrollable. Maybe my dream of being a journalist wasn't so crazy after all.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (2)

You know, it's funny how we change over time. WHat was once stress inducing and scary, can become AOK and cool as we get older. I always hated getting up early , despised it, I said I'd never have a job where I get up early. Well guess what? I get up every day at 530 now to get to different job sites. And it's fine! Haha, not as crazy as I thought it would be.

November 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTB at BlueCollarWorkman

We have been friends a shocking length of time...

December 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJaime

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>