This is the first in a three-part series about a girl and her dreams.
I am a dreamer. When I was younger I would dream everything from saving up enough money to buy myself a horse at nine years old, to saying I was going to save up enough money to buy myself a whole new wardrobe in high school, to saying I was going to save up enough money to go on a cruise with my best friends in college.
I also had more practical dreams.
When I was in fourth grade I decided I wanted to be a journalist. When I was in about ninth grade I decided I wanted to take that one step further and be a political journalist.
While I jumped around a little bit in college and it took me a little while to really hone in on things, that’s 100 percent what I wanted to do. I wanted to graduate from college (early, I might add), get a job straight out of college and move to wherever that new job might take me.
I did just that.
I graduated after only attending college for three years. I had three writing internships and another one in politics. Two of those writing internships were online and while they stretched me, they didn’t require me to move anywhere. Another was in Savannah, Georgia where I lived for three months, away from any friends or family and, honestly, went through one of the toughest things I have endured in my young life.
From there, I got a phenomenal political internship in Washington D.C. While I lived with other Texas Tech interns and had some connections in the city so that aspect was a little easier, it was an environment unlike anything I had ever been in before. There, I grew.
Everything (almost) I really reached for in college I was able to make happen. Of course there were notable exceptions. I never got an SPJ award; try as I might I was never chosen for the Headliners Scholarship; and despite my three different applications to intern with the Seattle Times, they never asked me to join them for a semester, but those things were only minor setbacks. Not everyone can get everything.
I wasn’t told I couldn’t do something and when I was, it just motivated me more.
From there I graduated college and got a job in Washington State, where I moved and am now happily employed, paying my bills and “adulting.”
One day, one of my friends asked me what it’s like to have all of my dreams come true.
All 21 years of tears and work and laughter and emotions culminated into not one but two degrees, a job that I LOVE, the ability to pay for my own apartment and other adult-ey things.
As kids, we were often asked what we wanted to be when we grew up. I’m grown up and I’m exactly what I want to be.
How does it feel?
Every morning I get to wake up and say to myself, ‘Hey, you’re a journalist.’
I get to send emails to people as a reporter. My words mean everything to me. My credibility is my currency and a potential bias really is the end of the world.
Everything I’ve learned and dreamed and wondered about is actually my day-to-day life and it’s phenomenal.
People sometimes ask me if I like my job and I have to say, ‘I know this sounds cliche, but it’s honestly everything I’ve ever wanted. This is my ideal first job and I’ve wanted it since I was in elementary school.’ It’s a great feeling.
So, all of this to say it’s worth it. It’s worth working your butt off. It’s worth having two internships and writing for your school paper and ending up writing about 3,000 words each day. It’s worth driving around on campus at midnight before you have an 8 a.m. because someone said students are camping out for College Baseball Playoffs and you want the story. It’s worth walking around on the street a block away from where police are in a standoff with an active shooter just to get an account from the neighbors.
It’s worth it. Keep going.