Feb. 2, 2016

I Know They Are There

“There are possibilities for me, certainly; but under what stone do they lie?”   Franz Kafka, Diaries, January 12, 1914

When I was younger, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  Sort of.  I wanted to be the next Jessica Savitch, a news anchor in the 80’s.  In college, I first majored in journalism, but I did not love the brevity of the who, what, where, when, why and how of the news.  I did excel however in feature articles and interviews.  I recently found some of my college papers and on every paper where I had interviewed a subject I made an A.  Later I interned at a television station where I used my love of writing to pen catchy promos for television shows.  I was there to learn about all areas of working at a television station, but I realized I had no interest in being an on-air personality or a new anchor.  I wanted to write about people. After graduating from college, I moved to Birmingham, Alabama and sought employment at radio and television stations just to get into the industry. However, my first job offer was at The American Red Cross organizing and setting up blood drives.  It was a sales job.  It was great fun, and my coworkers became my family, but I forgot about my passion.  Writing.  I would often write in a diary or journal, but I always tore them up because I never wanted anyone to read what I had written.  At this time I also found my old diary from when I was a child.  I read it and became embarrassed at what I had written, and I promptly destroyed it.  What I read was fantasies of a child with big dreams.  I remember laughing at my dreams.  Why did I limit myself?  Why had I become so practical?  At the time, I suppose I was on the same track with my peers, and I did not want to deviate from what appeared to be a responsible adult.  So, I sought jobs which would pay the bills and build my résumé.  Isn’t that what responsible people do?  Then, what about all of the one liners?  “Follow your dreams.  Your time is limited, don’t waste it by living someone else’s life.” and so on.  I don’t regret my life choices, but I do believe I want more out of life.  For me alcohol numbed the pain of not being fulfilled, but it also created chaos and stunted my emotional growth.  I drank because I thought it gave me courage, but all alcohol did was heighten my fear and make me vulnerable.  Alcohol made me question myself and my abilities.  Being sober and having a clear mind gives me hope and a belief that even at 53 years old there are possibilities for me, and as long as I stay sober I will find where they do lie.