There came a point this afternoon, when the sun was creeping through grey skies and I sat for the umpteenth hour spread out at the wood table, papers a mess, chocolate chips scattered across my notes, and a fresh mug of tea cupped in my hands. I couldn’t focus on the task before me. The caffeine had combined with the excitement at hand and left me far too distracted for the likes of epidemiology and biostatistics.
An opportunity was laid before me this morning. A chance to explore a side of myself that has, until recently, been forever private and unrealized. Today I was told, that if I wanted to, I could pretend to be a journalist. Me. A public health student. If I want to be both, today I can. But like all good things, and all new things, it comes at a cost. Absurd hours and no pay and a long commitment to what could be either glorious or disastrous to both my psyche and my studies. While accepting the opportunity would deny me the chance to take some really cool courses – I am a student after all, that is what I’m here to do – it would be a foray into the life of a writer and reporter and therefore an adventure I have been longing to take. It would be a test of whether or not I have what it takes, you know, to cut it out there, beyond the confines of my computer screen and the privacy of my journalistic hobbies.Beside the clinics and off the map, this is my chance explore the side of me that just wants to write about everything I see. Word after word, heaped with intention, it is an art I long to perfect and I am thrilled to be offered the chance.
Half way through this handful of chocolate chips I know I have to say yes. I have to at least try to make this work, becuase what if I never got another chance? What if no one else saw the potential – the unpaid potential, of course – that these guys did? Would I ever get another shot at this creative endeavor? And what if I love it? Is there room within my dreams to accommodate these journalistic ambitions?
So now what? Just dive in and say yes and bring the chocolate chips to work? Somewhere between classes and columns, between papers and pitches I think I may have found my niche. Still looking to add plane tickets and clinic plans to the mix, but I’m headed in the right direction. Now it’s back to the books so that I can push further toward that life, but loving mine just as it is for now.