Yesterday, while taking a work break (read: being bored out of my mind), I did something no non-working journalist should do. I Googled another journalist. Of course, as expected, the result is that I am now wallowing in self-pity about my inability to work as a journalist right now. I have become obsessed with Tia Williams (author and beauty writer) and Lola Ogunnaike (New York Times culture reporter). They’re young, they’re black and dammit, they’re living my dream. In the pics section of Tia’s blog (www.tiawilliams.net/blog) , she’s chatting it up with Imani. Like a black Carrie Bradshaw.
And Lola interviews celebrities like the rest of us brush our teeth. She even “consults” for TV. (You may have seen her commenting on Lil’ Kim, among others, on one of those VH1 shows.)
I know that at this point, I have no choice in my profession. Jobs in journalism here are few and far between. But I still think back to September when I did have the opportunity to have a reporting position. When the opportunity came up, it was as a part-timer in the community’s semi-monthly newspaper. It was a contract position, which means I had to bid for the job. The person who agreed to take the least amount for the job “won.” The highest I could get was $18K a year. The other position was temporary, with no hopes of extending it. And it was 30-45 minutes away. As a newlywed, I wanted to have a little cash cushion to do the things Jamil and I never got a chance to in college. And with him being gone so often, the commute was 45 minutes more that I could spend with my husband. So I took a government job. A good job, but nothing in writing (unless you count policy letters and memorandums – which I don’t).
I feel like a sellout sometimes; like I sacrificed my lifelong dream for money. I’ve got to start writing again. I will start writing again, and please hold me to that. I may not ever become the black Carrie Bradshaw or give commentary on VH1, but maybe I can find myself again.