My fingernails aren’t painted right now.
They usually are, but I’ve been slacking on it lately. I was so frustrated earlier this week that I peeled my nail polish off. I don’t even remember if it was yesterday or the day before that. But yeah; I’m tired. This semester, I have a class in which I’m a freelance journalist for local newspapers and another class in which I write news stories for the school newspaper.
Being a journalist is harder than people might realize. It’s a smorgasbord of phone calls, emails, following up with more phone calls and emails because you genuinely don’t know if people are ignoring you or if they just forgot to respond, people sometimes being suspicious that you want to write a story about them, scrambling to find people to interview, bothering others because you’re required to interview at least three people for every story, interviewing, transcribing interviews, relistening to them beause you can’t type as quickly as people speak, figuring out how to organize a story, finding quotes, rewriting, rewriting, rewriting, submitting your story, being told to fix something, potentially having to call someone back, rewriting, deadlines, deadlines, deadlines, being ignored, deadlines, being ignored, deadlines, being ignored, and then doing it again.
Two days ago, I left school at 11 p.m. I was there for so long that I saw a janitor. I’ve found out that there is a point of exhaustion at which consuming caffeine no longer makes you more energized. I was supposed to do laundry on Sunday, but didn’t get around to it until today – Friday.
I am tired, but I think this is how life is supposed to be. I don’t really lollygag as much as I used to. I guess it would be fun to mindlessly watch Netflix or television, but I know that’s no way to live. That doesn’t add anything to my life the way writing news stories does.
I’ve gone to new places and attended events that I probably wouldn’t have gone to otherwise. I’ve also interviewed a lot of people. I wrote a story on a restaurant and had to interview people who have eaten there. So, I had to walk up to people who were just trying to have a Saturday morning meal with a notebook in hand and ask if I could talk to them. Journalism can be described as a continuous series of bothering people. I talked to one person a lot longer than I needed to because we were having such an interesting conversation. He told me about the different places he’s traveled to, like Australia and France. I told him that I babysit and mentioned that it’s not a real job. People tell me this all the time and I agree. However, he told me that as a parent, he feels it’s an important job. If I hadn’t had to write a story, I wouldn’t have talked to him otherwise.
I’ve also become good friends with the other people going through this insanity. The night I saw the janitor, I was at school for so long that I had the same conversation twice with the same person about how much we love Chelsea Handler. We literally started recycling conversations. As we rewrite and wait to have our stories edited, we talk to each other. I think it’s really bonded us. We’ve gotten to know each other pretty well.
I’m tired, but I’m living. I’m actually doing things and having experiences. And I think it’s all worthwhile.