Somewhere during the transition from small town girl to sophisticated New Yorker, the sappy, sweet part of me was squeezed out of existance. Before graduating from college, I planned to be a journalist and work for a newspaper. The plan was to become a top notch reporter, live in a city and never go back to a small town. Unfortunately, it dawned on me that all I would have was a degree and nothing else. That along with never having held a job was how I ended up in the Marine Corps.
After the Marines, the plans changed from journalist to business woman. I craved being a career woman with goals and had no time for the softer things of life. These were the days of women’s lib when women had careers or they had a family. If you were career bound, family and a home were sacrificed for making it in the workplace. I had big plans and a timeline for making it by my standards. Business people can’t be sappy or sweet to succeed or so the thinking went in those days.
That all changed when I met my husband, marriage and family replaced making it big. That sweetness was gone and I never opened myself up to it again. There were the responsibilities of being a mother and wife of a man clambering up the ladder of success. Now, it’s apparent that there was a lot of learning going on and terrible fear that I wouldn’t be good at either. There had been no preparation for either position since as a girl, I hadn’t dreamed of days when I would be married and a mother.
In retrospect, I was never meant to work in an office sitting at a desk and getting along with my coworkers for the common good. I never really understood that nor did I even think of it until recently. It became apparent that I needed to get out of this house and do something besides communicate with my computer. So it came about that I accepted a part-time position as a photo journalist at a local weekly newspaper. It’s so much fun. I get to run around the area talking with folk I’ve never met interviewing them and taking pictures. Then, I go home, write the story, and email it along with the pictures to my editor.
The day the paper comes out, I run to get a copy scanning through to find my stories and photos. Today, I saw my first above the fold story and photos. I had written my first lead story. It left me shaken and thrilled. It’s my first lead story you see and that is huge. Not surprisingly, it was inspired by my grandson starting school. The headline reads, “First Day Brings Nerves, Excitement” and relates the story of a kindergartener and his teacher who is also teaching kindergarten for the first time. It all came together in the smoothest, most unbelievable manner. It’s a good thing I started keeping a scrapbook of my stories. Yes, I know it’s sappy, but I can’t resist.