Dream of the ’90s is alive

It’s been nearly a year since I last posted on here. For those who were already following this blog and really don’t care what I have to say anymore, I understand and I apologize for bothering you. Moving on…

As if writing everyday at my job weren’t enough, I felt the bug to come back on here and channel my creative energies through this blog. I write creatively in notebooks in my free time, in reporter’s notebooks at work, and now, I’m trying this as another outlet. We’ll see if it lasts.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a previous chapter in my life, a time when I was utterly happy. If you’ve seen the show Portlandia, not only is it hilarious but there’s quite a bit of truth to it too. You see, living in Portland is so awesome that people will make a barista job into a career just so they can live in Portland. I almost went down a similar road myself.

I’ve always had this uneasy restlessness about every place I’ve lived, even Portland. I figured I’d last a year, sort of as an adventure; just long enough to get things in my life sorted out. But little did I know how awesome things would be once I got settled in and the year was complete. I wound up staying three years and would likely still be there today if I hadn’t felt a desire to get started on a career. You know, things that grownups do.

At any rate, I still admire that great part of the country from afar and for now at least, that’s kind of what I seek to focus my attention on with this blog.

I read this article in the Seattle Times, which provided a lot of food for thought, especially since I recently read this. The latter felt like an amateurish version of stuff we read in grad school discussions of “The Future of News.” The author is kind of full of herself (“people miss seeing my byline”) and she makes a lot of generalizations, but she does make a good point about people at newspapers having to constantly look over their shoulders and be prepared for the next round of layoffs. I feel as though I’m safe for now, but what about five years down the road? What about 15 years down the road when the younger generation that doesn’t pay money for news becomes the primary buying market?

The Seattle Times article demonstrates if you’re completely in love with your work, you’ll invest the hours and make other sacrifices to make things work. The problem lies in the fact that the blogger liked being in news, but wasn’t completely in love with it (although she tries to argue she loved it so much she had to get out).

I understand her frustration. I’ve made plenty of compromises, but I guess it comes down to how much are you willing to sacrifice? At this point, I’m not willing to sacrifice a social life for the job I have now; then again, I only make peanuts from a salary perspective, and I’m perfectly okay with that kind of a compromise.

I’m really happy with my current job as a writer, but if I could write for a magazine or write on my own terms, basically have a dream job, I would be willing to make bigger sacrifices, like not having a social life or another similar large-scale compromise. As it stands, I’m really fortunate to have a career where I enjoy going to work pretty much every day, but I don’t love it to the point of making such a large-scale sacrifice. Only dream jobs are the sort of jobs for which you should make large-scale compromises.

Dani Cone has made those types of sacrifices. She admits in the article she’s married to her work. But she also admits, “there’s nothing I’d rather be doing.”


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