Fun fact: I've never seen an episode of Jersey Shore. Ever.
But I have watched the Monarch Butterfly Migration countless times, mentally putting myself in central Mexico when they take off in the millions. I also can't tell you what the latest fashion trend is, but I can quote you airline tickets to any continent at any time of year, because the last time I checked was probably less than an hour ago. And I wouldn't recognize Kim Kardashian if she hijacked my car, but I'd probably run down a random man from 100 yards away because my vision-flawed eyes convinced me it was Anthony Bourdain from the Travel Channel's No Reservations. Personally, I'd think I were doing him a favor. I'm sarcastic, he's sarcastic. He's funny, I think I'm funny. He'd want to meet me, right?
Er, right. Plus he kind of has my dream job, traveling around the world documenting his experiences with food and culture, all the while narrating with the clever sense of humor I find so brilliant. Ah the skill of storytelling, of connecting.
terrible fit for me. On top of it, I've been up countless nights, giving in to the guilt and shame brought on by thoughts of my impressive student loan history being used for something I was never even passionate about in the first place. I feel as if I'm being snobbish and picky, like I've spent $15,000 on a new car only to refuse to drive it because the color green just "isn't my taste". Here we are in an economy where jobs are few and far between, and I've got a leg up on the competition and I'm not going to take it? What's wrong with me?
Nothing. Nothing is wrong with me. It's taken a lot of tears to accept the fact that the path I've been following was started by someone else, but that doesn't mean I'm condemned to it. Furthermore, it doesn't mean I should feel guilty about deviating from it. And the end result? I feel liberated.
This is the first time I have actually felt excited about what I might be doing for a living. The kinds of jobs I sought out in high school (photojournalism, cake decorator, florist) are the creative, fast-paced, hands-on jobs I not only loved, but was good at too.
So lately, I've been working with a photographer in town, for free. She's incredibly helpful, she's passionate, and she really knows what she's doing. The information I'm learning from her is priceless. And a bonus? She was in a similar situation as myself. Switched from her RN to photography after a realizing she hated her current career, and never looked back. Makes me feel right at home.
In the meantime, I'm still working per diem night shifts at the hospital, which pays fairly well and allows me to make my own schedule. As an added bonus, on slow nights (like tonight), it allows me the freedom to research in depth information.
Like how I might go about getting hired as a writer for a local newspaper or magazine (or just intern there), and making sure the camera I want is the right one for me.
Oh and which camera is that, you ask? The same camera I've had my eye on for the last two years: the Canon EOS 7D. (In reality, I want the Canon 5D Mark II but let's be honest people, it's going take another year minimum to save for that sucker.) But at least I know the cheaper alternative is a good match.
So for all the negativity that seems to be surrounding my situation, I feel I'm actually pretty lucky. I know the gear I want (I've researched it thoroughly) and I'm excited about the idea of gaining experience writing in the "real world". As an added bonus, I know my education is not going to waste. My training in counseling (e.g. knowing the right way to phrase questions to allow someone to open up) has given me an edge when it comes to interviewing people. Hmm, maybe someday I'll be so lucky as to trade verbal punches with a grimy politician of some kind...yes I think I would like that very much.
So consider yourself warned, Anthony. While I may not be gunning for your job just yet, I am attempting to loosely follow in your footsteps of sharing other's experiences through the art of storytelling, in whatever way that may be. Oh and if we ever do meet? Watch out, I'd like to think I'm pretty damn hilarious myself.