I’m still working on it: New beginnings

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Photo by Amanda Lee

Even though I'm far away, I'm still thinking of you!

By Amanda Lee, Adjunct columnist ('12)

Dear Friends,

I’m sure you’ve probably already lost hope in me–given up on the idea that I would ever stick to my New Year’s Resolution and write to you.

You probably think that I’m living the high life, partying like the wild animal you all secretly thought I was and staying in my dorm room only long enough to change clothes and brush my teeth.

Or, you think that I’ve become  a bum.

Perhaps you think that I’ve had a mental break down and can no longer fathom the energy to do anything except sleep and drink the occasional glass of water as I wither away to bits underneath my covers.

None of those are true. I still think of you, dear friends, every day. And, believe me–I would have written sooner. I just didn’t have anything to write to you about until now. That’s not to say that there’s nothing going on in my life until now- I went to Disneyland and had avocado on my turkey sandwich but that’s not exciting. Well…Disneyland is exciting. But I go there every other week–at the least.

I had also sunk into a little bit of a funk. I am taking a class this semester called Mass Communications. We study different types of media forms: newspapers, magazines, radio, television, etc. It’s all really very exciting. I’ve learned the trends of the media, the history of it and what causes it to report on the events it does.  The only thing though, is that I go to class, and they tell me the most depressing thing ever.

Newspapers are dying out.

Newspapers! My dream career, my love, and what has begun to feel like my own child–was dying out! They say the best laid plans get foiled–and now my dream plan to write a column for a big, popular newspaper has just been smushed by reality.

It’s not good.

So you see, I was a little anti-writing. I mean, what was the point of continuing my craft if no one was going to read or care about it in the next five years.  There is a lesson here.

You can go to Ms. Correa’s career planning workshops, you can do that little life clock and draw lines determining when you’ll retire with lots of money and a boat, and pick out paint swatches of different shades of white for the picket fence you’ll have in your nice suburban home.  But the fact of the matter is, you can do everything right and still have everything go wrong. You can get straight A’s, be a long-time contributor to your high school newspaper, and earn a bunch of fancy titles that are supposed to show you’re good at something, but sometimes life just gets in the way.

Sometimes, newspapers just go out of style.

I think maybe I’m old fashioned. I’m the kind of person who likes routine, consistency, and little change. Once I settle into something I don’t like changing it, and I certainly don’t like having to start over. But, that’s what I had to do.

My original dream that I’d been planning out since age 12 had to be adapted. I’ll be the first to admit I was a little bitter about it. I really wanted to be the stylish journalist who would go on the scenes and dive into the middle of the action. I wanted to see my story headline newspapers that people would open up in the middle of the street because they were just dying to see what I wrote.

That dream can still happen though, it will just have to take on a different medium.  I think that’s the solution for many dreams that seem initially dashed. Try to channel them into a different medium. Often times, the concept of the dream can still remain, it just needs a different outlet in which to manifest. For me, I found my outlet in magazines.

While I had always worked with newspapers, I loved The New Yorker. The New Yorker is a popular magazine that has been around for what seems like forever. They have cartoons, short stories, columns, and articles about the current happenings in the nation. It is also one of the most popular magazines.

So, now you guys will have to look for me in two places: newspapers and magazines. Because let’s be honest–I’m going to try both. I just can’t let newspapers go because a teacher told me to. I have to beat down every door until there’s nothing but splinters left. Perhaps I am also persistent along with being old fashioned. It’s definitely a possibility.

Recently, I’ve started reading this wonderful book by one of my favorite people in the world: Tina Fey. It’s called Bossypants. You might have seen it–it has Tina’s face in the hands of big, hairy man arms. Apparently, being a boss = big, hairy man arms. Good to know.

The book is fantastic- it’s pretty much a biography, and I am a sucker for biographies. I think people get really passionate when they talk about themselves. That may just be me, but I like to think that other people out there feel the same. Anyway though, the book talks about her childhood, her improv career (I almost tired out for the Improv team but I wasn’t sure if I was spontaneous enough for that…) and how she later came to work with SNL and create her show 30 Rock. It is absolutely scintillating. Read it, all of you, and then Facebook me so we can fan girl over how wonderful she is.

Well. That’s all really. My life thus far plus a heartfelt apology. I’m really sorry that I haven’t written in so long. I promise to be a better person and write to you more frequently.  What can I say? Resolutions were made to be broken.