And now for something completely different.
Typically on this blog, I talk about things I do and see, or things I want to do and see, not what I think or how I feel. When it comes to talking about how I feel or what I think about something or someone, or moments that shaped a part of my character, I freeze up.
I froze up earlier this evening when I was talking to one of my roommates about how this internship has changed my perspective on some things. She has decided to relocate to DC from the western U.S., and we were discussing what it’s like to be in a city where you know no one.
When I got to the part where I tried to vocalize how in the last couple of months I have changed from someone who valued having an exciting career above all else to someone who valued family and friends above all else, I mumbled out, “But, I don’t know.” I couldn’t articulate why I no longer want to relocate to DC.
After I filed my first open records request a few years ago, I thought I wanted to be a big-shot investigative reporter in the big city. I loved the thrill of uncovering something and I wanted to be able to expose some terrible scandal and be the cause of some kind of widespread change that improves everyone’s lives.
But after a couple of months in DC, observing people who have spurred change with their big-city reporting, I’ve realized that I would rather take a job with a small-town weekly if it means being able to have people I care about close to me and I wouldn’t have to miss things like birthday parties and anniversaries because I’m hundreds of miles away.
Besides. It’s about the journalism. Period. Why should it matter where I’m working as long as I’m seeking truth and reporting it?
Being away from everything and everyone I’ve ever known has showed me what’s important to me, and what I don’t want to give up. As difficult as it has been to stop being homesick long enough to work and then find ways to pass the time on weekends without reminding myself on Fridays that I would be hanging out with Bert and Ella (my best friend and her daughter) or that on Sunday afternoons I would be shopping with Mom and then trying to start a conversation with Dad as he’s watching football or baseball or NASCAR, I don’t regret a thing. I’m glad I’ve had the chance to be in this internship program and spend three months in an incredible city. I’ve made memories and friends I’ll keep with me for the rest of my life. But I miss being able to see the stars.