Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I Want, I Want, I Want...

I don't know what the hell I want. This is my protocol for big decision making: Mull over situation. Stress over situation. Obsessively stress over situation. Make decision. Second guess. Third guess. Fourth, fifth and sixth guess. Make decision again (usually reach same conclusion). Get new piece of information - repeat process. I had made my decision. I knew the decision when I sat down at Spectators Bar & Grill in Saugatuck across from my editor-in-chief, Mike, who talks real fast and has a radio voice and looks nothing like what I'd pictured. We were there to discuss the option for me to write full time for the paper I've been freelancing at for the past few months. I had agonized for over two weeks but finally decided the opportunity was simply not right and not at the right time. The full time position paid considerably less than what I'm making now, working 10 hours a night, four nights a week, dispatching truck drivers while sitting next to a woman with eating habits that would make a hog look like an English gentleman at the Queen's table. The hours suck and it's not my career of choice - but it allows me to go to school and freelance...and most of all spend money. I'm not materialistic or money driven - far from it. As a matter of fact I am completely careless with money - which is why having a financially beneficial job is important to me. That and in the past few years - I've gone through more salary changes than I can count. Excessive salaries to menial salaries - debts to lavish spending - and unemployment. I don't take care of my money so it's good for me to have a job that allows me to miss a payment or two - and handle the late feel - buy a movie or three - and still afford groceries. It's been beaten into my head from a young age to be independent. To stand on my own two feet. To pay for my own things. To rely on no one. That's what I've come to determine for myself and taking this paper job could jeopardize that. So I'd made my decision. I consulted the best and took their word. It wasn't the right time. My coworker comforted me with the promise that "it means something better is right around the corner..." And I met my editor at Spectators Bar & Grill. It was evident when he sat down he was going to make a more formal presentation - so I quickly decided not to "no" him right then and there. I'd wait til Wednesday to give him the impression that I'd thought it over. I'd be covering the local government and school news - attending certain weekly meetings and making a name for myself with certain officials within the community. Not wanting to take features away, I'd still be working on those as well. It's a great start - but I stood firm - not the right time. Mike told me he'd keep me no matter what - he's been at Newsday and New York and Chicago and says that I have "it". I try not to get too scared by this. I stand firm...I call Rachel so I can. "You made the right decision," she says. To take the job meant I'd have to keep my job in dispatch - lessen my hours and balance it along with the full time writing, freelance at another paper and a part time school load. The decision was based on the obvious: stretching myself too thin - not enough time to focus on school and too much, too much. Here's the thing - it seems we've lost yet another employee at work whose schedule was weekends only 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. It gets me thinking I could still do part time on the weekends and write full time, with enough time for school. I really want to make it work - but can't decide. I want to write full time. But I'm scared. I don't know if I'm ready. I rarely feel like I know what I'm doing when I'm on a story. But does that matter? Doesn't everybody feel like they don't know what they're doing when they first start something? I want, I want, I want...but I don't know what the hell it is I want.

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