What Back-Up Plan?
When I was asked 10 years ago “What do you want to be when you grow up?” my typical response was “A sports reporter, duh!” I was a Senior in High School and idolized Bonnie Bernstein, a court and field-side reporter for CBS. BB led me to the belief that I too could combine my love of sports and writing and accomplish what she has. She was a beautiful, energetic young woman, and the players seemed to respect her which was rare for a woman in sports. Bottomline, the players weren’t looking at her during interviews as if they were picturing her naked.
This was the pre-Erin Andrews Era. And pre-Bill Belichick rumors.
Sports News photo via shutterstock
That same year I decided to “rebel” and go to the cheapest/biggest party school I got into as a Journalism major. I know my college pick made my parents cringe, but being the awesome folks they are, they supported me and my crazy dream. Never once did they say, “Okay, BUT are there any other careers you would be interested in pursuing?” or “Maybe you should go to X University since it’s got one of the best Journalism programs in the country?”
I wish I was one of those kids who could blame my poor decisions on my parents. But Mama didn’t raise no fool. Both Mom and Dad though highly successful in their own rights, didn’t know squat about what it took to make it as a reporter. And when you’re 17 and grew up in a town nicknamed “West-Bubble,” neither did I.
Fast forward to my Senior year of college. I was partied out and more importantly sick of writing and completely turned off by all things news-related. I was interning at a local TV station and left that dump every night close to tears. Who knew that to win the coveted sports reporter position you had to cover the miserable stories about murders, fires, and homeless people? Who knew your starting salary would be under $30,000/year, and that you’d be working from 4am-1pm living in the middle of nowhere? Who knew your fellow female colleagues would view you as competition and try to take you down any chance they got as opposed to play on your team? Not this girl.
Hellooo Mom and Dad 'cause I’m movin' home post-graduation!
Fortunately I landed a job at a small company working as a Project Manager. I made enough money to move into the city and was thankful to acquire some “businessy” skills despite having a background in writing. I should also mention that the guy-to-girl ratio was about 10:1. I was 21 when they hired me. MAJOR SCORE!
I followed that job up with the place I’m at now - a major corporation that employs tens of thousands of people worldwide. The pay is better and my office is just over a mile from my apartment. I took the job hoping to exercise some writing skills. I’m six months in and am now realizing that it would take a miracle (Red Sox World Series Champs in 2013!) for me to let my creative juices flow here.
That’s what has brought me to blog… or whatever you want to call this. This is just the second piece I’ve written, but man it feels good. I know I’m ancient compared to most people starting out as reporters nowadays, and I'm not cut out to be the next Bonnie Bernstein. But I plan to explore what I enjoy about writing again, and see where it takes me. Plus, I'm in a total rut. Life is definitely giving me lemons at the moment, but I say “Give me a cup of Grey Goose on the rocks and I’ll squeeze those lemons right in!”
I am now embarking on the road to discovering my Back-up Plan.
Catch ya on the flipside BB!