I grew up wishing to be a cut-throat investigative journalist like Debora Patta was on 3rd Degree, but a lot has changed and I am not even close to pursuing that dream. Other interests have pursued me, and Debora has left the country.
As a teen, my father tried to warn me against studying media, especially political journalism. He said, “It will be too dangerous; you won’t be able to have a stable life and a family. You’re going to have to travel a lot.” And that intrigued me. Watching the 7 o’ clock news together, in the evening, was our ‘thing’. My father was always busy – doing something. The only time that he seemed really relaxed, was when he was intently watching the news. And I suppose that watching him, watch the news was always motivation for me to pursue media.
When I was accepted to university, one of my older cousins begged me to reconsider studying Media. He suggested health sciences or business and said that with media my life would amount to nothing. And that motivated me even more.
When I didn’t get the first job that I really wanted at a renowned fashion magazine, I cried for three days. I’d worked hard to compile a portfolio, I had aced the first interview, the second one went well too, and they were just going to let me know… It rained that day. I didn’t have a car at the time and I had to take two taxis to get to the main road near the interview building. I remember that my fringe had frizzed (this was way back when I flat-ironed my fringe every morning). I remember having to wipe my hands on the inside of my coat to shake the Deputy Editor’s hand. My hands were clammy from shielding rain droplets from my face. I was actually more concerned with the way that I looked because appearance is everything – to the market that I was going to potentially appeal to. I understood the emotional strain that would go into maintaining a superficial title, but it would have been amazing on my CV. I’d walked several metres, spoiling my heels on poorly tarred roads, just to get to the building (never mind the rain), so you can tell that I’d wanted this really badly. And then I didn’t get the job. Someone else topped me. And the worst part of it all was that I had rejected two other job offers, in the hope that this one would pull through. I was heartbroken. But I had almost made it, and that bit of hope saved me.
There is so much for me to learn about writing, life, and determination, but there is one thing that I strongly believe in, best described by Les Brown: “There is nothing more powerful than a made-up mind”. You can have the world against you and if you are dead-set on pursuing something that drives you, nothing will stop you from having it.
I write for a living. This has been my biggest dream, and every time I feel discouraged, I remember that someone is paying me to do something that I really enjoy and would have been doing anyway. No amount of money can match up to the pain of having to endure a job that you don’t enjoy. I value all the challenges that have brought me to this point in my career and life, and I welcome every learning curve that would inevitably contribute to my growth as a writer.
What are some of the challenges that you’ve faced to get where you are in your life? I’d love to share your experiences.