For 25 years I’ve survived many days but none so bittersweet as the one I’m living through right now. I’m currently sitting at a food court at CSULB, where I find myself traveling through pivotal moments in time.
It was at this very spot where I frequently stopped by as a college student. I remember cramming in as much material as I could process and studying late into the night with my best friend Steph.
I remember living in the present as opposed to planning for the future, especially as far as career prospects went for that matter. I had never planned to live this long, yet here I was.
I knew that ideally, I’d want to get my Journalism degree first, but I could never focus on what I wanted to do beyond that. I had just transferred in as a junior and I already wanted to drop out. After a brief discussion with one of my professors, he urged me to do otherwise, so I stayed.
As my senior year approached, I took a broadcasting course, where I was assigned to read Anderson Cooper’s Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of Wars, Disaster and Survival. Albeit a well-written book, I knew it was just a glimpse into the life of war correspondence.
A career path that I’ve been considering since then because honestly, that may be where the real news is. Behind-the-scenes footage galore with a fate that lies heavily on the Gods who run today’s pop culture and cable T.V.
Do I choose between fulfilling my role as an only child or to pursue one of many dangerous career paths? Especially now that I’m beginning to want a family of my own? Is war correspondence my ONLY interest as far as journalism goes?
Yet, here I am at the food court, a little over a year since I had graduated from here, reading Ron Kovic’s Hurricane Street and eyeing Carolyn M. Edy’s The Woman Correspondent, the U.S. Military, and the Press.
I figured I should catch up on some reading before meeting a career counselor now that I’m on campus. I had received these books not too long ago by an acquaintance named Robe. Enclosed in the last book is a letter he wrote that ends with, “Hope to read your work someday.” Hence why today is so bittersweet.
Correction: I no longer have free access to career counceling.