Finally a real journalist

For some strange reason, even though I'm going on my fourth year of writing in newspapers, I've never really felt like a real journalist.

Sure there have been brief snippets of hope here or there with certain stories, but the moments were always fleeting, as if I was only interpreting the craft like a bad impersonator. Maybe it's my own self doubt or insecurity, but ever since I completely flipped my life on its head, I've constantly been weary of my own ability, no matter how it is praised.

But when I sat in that conference room that felt more like a cold-war bunker than an office environment, I felt like a journalist.

I'd figured out the publisher's game. I'd figured out my editor's game. I'd put the pieces slowly together as the events unfolded the day before, and though I was in a little bit of denial, as soon as the publisher opened her mouth, I already knew what was coming. I was a journalist after all.

As the words, "This is your last day at the Yuma Sun," sank in, my eyes immediately darted around the room like a lawn sprinkler. Heartbreak, absolute terror, unbridled uncertainty washed over the faces of my colleagues. Some had been there over 40 years, some over 15. I'd only been there nine months.

I didn't feel bad for myself, I was hopeful. Hopeful to get out of a market where there is nobody exists between the ages of 20 and 60. I'm young, I have options. But the people around me had settled down. They had spouses with jobs in Yuma, they had family in Yuma, they didn't have their heads in the clouds while their hands were meeting deadline.

I'm not sure what comes next, if it's newspapers, wonderful, if it's online, great. Hell, if it is anything, terrific. All I know for certain is that when the man told me to pack my things, I'd finally felt like I'd made it. I'm a journalist.


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