Monday, November 26, 2012

Catch My Breath

"You'll climb the red," the sports instructor said.

The red path loomed overhead. It was the tallest and the most difficult. But gear attached, I started to climb.

On my recent Thanksgiving cruise vacation, I decided to rock climb. Little did I know, my climb would be met by jeers and cheers from the crowd a deck below.

"Don't mess up!" one shouted. "You won't make it!" yelled another.

Two days earlier, at the dinner table, I read an email that congratulated me on my acceptance as a News21 fellow for summer 2013. I honestly did not expect this email. I was shocked.

For two and a half years, I have sent almost every email, application and care package possible in hopes of landing a high-profile internship. And its here!

My high school journalism teacher once told me "the truth will come out in the wash." Not knowing what the phrase meant, I Googled it. Now I understand what she meant.

Hard work does not go unnoticed. My impending summer journalism opportunity is better than I ever thought possible. And I have alot to be thankful for.

As I approached the halfway point on the rock climbing wall, my hand almost slipped, but I caught ahold of the preceding rock. I took a deep breath and climbed higher. And on my last step, unknowingly, I passed the bell before ringing it with satisfaction.

I climbed higher than I needed to.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

20 Seconds of Courage

As strange as it may sound, I am a shy journalist. I think before I speak, but I can tell a good story.

This week, I spoke in front of a group of middle school students about my Type 1 Diabetes. The school has been among the best in fundraising for T1D. It was my first public speaking opportunity since probably high school. But, as scared as I was, I had a story to tell.

A few weeks earlier, I prayed to God to heal my Type 1 Diabetes. However, I realize that, even without the healing, I can strengthen others through talking about my own experiences.

I asked the students what was there favorite thing about second grade, some answered with "math" or "recess," as I then began to tell my story of my diagnosis in the second grade, waking up on a hospital bed with blood-filled tubes spread out across my body.

This holiday season and into the new year, I will try to get out of my confort zone. That means pubic speaking, going beyond the daily work/school routine and being courageous.

Taking a step into the unknown requires faith, but it may open a world of opportunities.

Why not start with "20 seconds of courage"?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Silent Praise or Harsh Criticism

One of the toughest aspects of journalism is silent praise. As reporters, we crank out story after story, often without as much as a "good job" or "nice story," but then the opposite occurs, harsh criticism.

A heavily criticized story can be two-fold, either the story is bad or so good that it stirs up readers' emotions, or a little of both. It is like being stuck in no man's land, either a reader hates a story or has literally nothing to say about it.

Maybe its a spelling error, politics or just that one person who comments negatively on every story.

But journalism is worth the silent praise (we assume) and harsh criticism. The job requires thick skin.

The rest of the year I will focus on rebranding (if you have not noticed already), shooting and editing video and learning Spanish. They are personal goals I need to accomplish to become a better journalist. While a reader comment may lower my mood for a moment, the thrill of molding my craft will never flail.