Normally, I’d know exactly how to start this. Usually, my topics come to me randomly. Lately, my mind has just been blank.
Writer’s block is known as being simply an excuse; a made up phenomenon that was created to justify laziness and an inability to focus. As a journalist, there have been plenty of times where I’ve found myself struggling to muster up the energy to put together a story. I’m a self-proclaimed procrastinator who typically doesn’t start pieces until a few hours before deadline. That’s the only way I’m able to write. The pressure pushes me.
Now that I’m nearing the end of my academic career I’m starting to panic. I’m realizing that in less than a year, the pressure of meeting a deadline in order to get a good grade will no longer exist. I will no longer have assignments listed clearly for me on a syllabus. I won’t have other classmates working on the same story as I am to vent to when it’s the day before deadline and I have no idea what I’m going to write.
It’s terrifying. I’ve recently started an internship at an amazing huge publication in New York City and while I should be excited about beginning my professional career, I actually find myself very discouraged.
Sometimes I think that I made a mistake going in to journalism. It takes a certain type of person to be a journalist. It’s more than being able to write well. It takes certain skills. Passion. Inspiration. A desire to write. I have none of these things anymore. I hate to think that I waited until I spent over $100,000 on both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in journalism to figure out that I don’t want a career in that field.
I think a lot of this has stemmed from me “stepping into the real world,” as some people say you do after graduating college. Although I went straight to grad school, I took on a tremendous amount of responsibility in an extremely short amount of time. I got into a serious relationship, moved in with my boyfriend and got a puppy—an English bulldog that I named Buddha.
It’s a strange thing. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my personal life but I’m the most confused I’ve ever been in my professional life. I’ve always referred to journalism as my first love. Since I was a little girl, writing has always brought me the most peace. It’s been my shoulder to cry on. The one thing that set my soul on fire…but now that’s all gone.
That sounds ridiculous. I know it does. But I really feel like it’s true. Everyone I’ve ever dated in the past has never had any effect on my writing. In fact, they’ve always given me more to write about.
But this one’s different. He’s special to me.
I never write about my current boyfriend. It has always baffled me and I’ve never been able to figure out why I don’t desperately feel the need to write about him like I have with every single person before him.
But I understand now.
I feel terrible. I hate feeling this way. I’m conflicted. I feel like an imposter. I’m not truly a journalist. I never was. I’m a fraud.
I no longer think my purpose in this world is to write. I think it’s to love. To be happy and start a family one day. To encourage the people surrounding me to follow their dreams and believe in themselves. That is my dream. That is my purpose. To push those who have a genuine passion for something, whatever it may be.
It’s not you, it’s me, journalism. I’m not right for you. I can’t commit my life to you. Not anymore. Some things aren’t meant to be. Sometimes people outgrow each other and that’s okay. I really hope we can still be friends.
And so this is goodbye for now, my old sweet dear friend. I don’t know where life will take me, I mean I’m only 22, but I do know that you’ll always be there should I ever need you again.
To quote one of my biggest inspirations, (who quoted Neil Young), “I don’t have the passion anymore, and so remember, it’s better to burn out than to fade away.”