It’s only been two weeks since I decided to start aggressively applying for work. To anyone who cares, all is going well, thank you very much. But, as a person who carefully lives by superstition, I won’t try to jinx my applications by publicly discussing any progress or lack of in this blog.
I betray my journ family now that I’m trying to break into the “evil corporate world.” I’ve only applied to three journ-related openings and twice I purposely forgot to submit the requirements. The other one is a little more complicated, but again, nothing of its status shall be revealed here. I’ve applied to communication work but barely any specific journ job.
Unfortunately though, when your entire resume is exhausted with journ courses and experiences, 90 percent of the time, you’ll be asked why you’re applying to work you’ve only had a glimpse or just a peep of in college. And if ever that happens, I allow you to steal some of my varied answers: burnout, word drought, doubt. Apart from the fact they rhyme, they also all mean the same thing–I just don’t feel like writing now.
Let’s take a few steps back. We all started writing at four or five, tracing squibbles that meant absolutely nothing to us. Nonetheless, understanding the curves and lines was our ticket to reading hence getting accepted into the academic world of the normal hence college hence success yada yada yada. They all follow. After we got the hang of it (A looks like a triangle, B looks like a pair of sunglasses, C looks like a noodle…), we all progressed to reading. Reading was something else. Unlike writing where our heads robotically went up (to the blackboard) and down (to the paper), reading actually took us somewhere. To Cinderella and her sweaty foot, to Aladdin and his cool ride. Learning how to read welcomed me into my bookworm family. Finally our ridiculously packed library served more than my personal jungle gym. I was able to connect with Jessica and Elizabeth, Nancy Drew, and God forbid, the swell Hardy Boys.
In my obsession with books, I didn’t forget writing. I had to do it everyday in school. Not only did I progress from chunky block letters to gay cursive, I also learned to get past the literal verb. When I was seven, I fooled around with my mom’s computer, typing stories that ridiculously resembled the ones I’ve read, the difference being the foolish childish tone. When I was eight, I moved to serious journalism.I published my own comedy newspaper called Armageddon and distributed it to the humoring employees in my mom’s office and to my siblings. It was complete with a forecast, horoscopes, an advice column, showbiz intrigue, and serious news (the latter material I got from The Buzz and TV Patrol). Everything else, to the amusement of everyone, was made up. It wasn’t special. Just a pastiche of ideas I got from the characters and adventures in my books.
Any talent I had in writing was revealed in a letter we were required to send some priests. It was all me, pouring out words to a stranger I knew nothing about. The praises I got from my teachers (who read a friggin’ personal letter!) and my mom convinced me that I had skillZ. I was not only a champion reader, I was a writer! A verb + r meant that I had a talent, one I could cultivate and I could potentially pattern my entire future after. That was exactly how it happened. Sure I had dance and art and all the other stuff I was involved in but writing seemed to be the safest, most feasible career choice. And when I had to pick a niche in college, writing was the obvious choice. How very career-oriented of me.
Everything was accidental. A stroke of letter writing brilliance dictated my entire future. It’s as if I fell down, hit my spinal column and realized I can never play pro-football again and with a lack of options, I’m now confined to being a professional chess player. (Okay, so I watched Glee, any problem with that?). But I still have full function of my limbs. Had I chosen a different set of words that day, I would probably be somewhere else right now.
We always hear that the way to answer questions, particularly the big, knee-shaking ones, was to go back to the root of everything. I just did. Writing had been a “fortuitous circumstance”discovered in one hour. I found out I had a way with words, which I will forever be thankful to God for.
I write… but for a year, maybe two, I might encounter some other lucky accident. Maybe I just want to see if I can be some other verb + r.
*I actually figured out the field I want to dabble in but I’ll keep it for myself until I’m 101 percent sure.