On the dangers of a semi-public life and starting fresh

The Gooderham Building in Toronto, an example of the'flatiron' architectural style. 

The Gooderham Building in Toronto, an example of the'flatiron' architectural style. 

The more I experience journalism (i.e. not in a classroom but in an actual newsroom) the more I fall in love with it.

I love getting up every morning and not knowing what to expect. I love cold calling an expert, asking questions and writing an article. I’m more confidant than ever that I can make this my career. I’m pushing ahead with my goals.

But all of those realizations have come at a cost.

Journalism is by its very nature a public job. Every article I write and publish, every tweet I send and every picture I post exposes me to the public. It exposes me to criticism, it exposes me to friend, and it exposes me to future employers.

Those are things I need, the things I crave, and those things also absolutely terrify me.

Social media and Web 3.0 are these wonderful tools that allow you to put yourself out there. They give you a platform through which you can interact with others. But I am constantly aware that by taking these tools and using them as a journalist I limit my ability to talk about the issues in my life.

For the longest time I’ve resisted putting things that are personal on this blog. The irony of being scared of posting personal information on a personal blog doesn’t go over my head.  But that has to change.

I don’t try to think too highly of myself. Very few people care about my opinions. Even less would care about the personal issues in my life. I’m not a celebrity. But this job does mean putting my name out in the public and in the digital age that can be hazardous.  

The fear of damaging my credibility or future employment prospects is legitimate. But I’m more afraid of hurting myself, my friends, or my family by becoming a public person.

In the past few weeks I’ve found myself scared of asking for help from the people around. That isn’t helpful for me and in the past that has been harmful to those around me.

I’m scared of reaching out for help and realizing nothing is out there but a wasteland of faceless, anonymous commentators. I’m scared of writing about what is really bothering me.

But I’m going to stop being afraid. At the very least I’m going to pretend that I’m not afraid. Journalists are supposed to be these fearless inquisitors, seeking the truth. So it’s time to start asking some hard questions of myself. Time to explore those little cracks and crevices of my mind that I normally leave for myself.

This blog is going to start becoming a cathartic release. It has to be. If a dozen people read it, or if it just ends up being me than I have to get some stuff out of my head.

I’ll begin posting the poetry I’ve written and the poetry I’m reading. I’ll post about what I’m feeling. Hopefully something everyday. Even if it’s 50 words.

This is something I should’ve began four months ago when I started this blog. But its time to start again.

Welcome to a fresh start. Welcome to these words of mine.