World news … tomorrow, maybe?

Breaking news coverage
Breaking news coverage

The morning of July 20, 2012, my boss called and woke me up. “Candace, there’s been a shooting,” he began.

I immediately thought he meant at our office or the Seattle office.

“At a movie theater in Colorado,” he continued.

Now I was wondering why he called to tell me that. Oh, right, because we’re in the news business and it was our job to cover it. He asked how quickly I could get to the office to help the overnight editor. By that time, I had jumped out of bed in my Midtown West apartment and started pulling on clothes.

Now it wasn’t often that I got called out of bed to do my job, but the first thing I did upon waking up was check what breaking news alerts had come in when I was sleeping. That would generally determine how quickly I got out of bed.

I was updating the homepage from home while Superstorm Sandy was beating down on my building. I peeked out the window of the sixth-floor kitchen and watched the winds pick up and the sky turn dark around noon. I appreciated working because I didn’t know what else to do. The storm was coming for Manhattan. If I wasn’t working on this story, I’d be reading all I could about it anyway.

It was the Sandy Hook massacre that really took a toll on me. After hours of work on the story, I had to step away from my computer to take a break. In news, you often have to delay feeling until after your shift. You just have to to get through it. This wasn’t one of those times when I could just deal with it after work. The long days of Sandy Hook coverage changed my feelings about journalism. It was heartbreaking to see pictures of children grieving their classmates. To hear stories of the 6 year olds whose lives were lost.

I stopped paying attention to news in my off hours. I’d leave the office at 3:30 p.m. and avoid TV and news alerts until 6 the next morning.

Now 12 days since I left my journalism career, I find myself really enjoying the peace of not knowing all the details. I catch the headlines and my aunt fills me in over breakfast, but it’s not my job to know anymore. I’m sure after my detox, I’ll start following news again. I know it’s important to be informed about ISIS, ebola and what the King County council is deciding.

But for now, burying my head in the sand feels really good.

90-day plan

OK so a while back I told you that I had a phone session with my therapist. One of the things I asked her is why I keep breaking up with the perfectly good gentlemen I keep meeting.

“Maybe you don’t want to be in a relationship right now, Candace. There’s nothing wrong with that. Just because you don’t want it right now doesn’t mean you will never want it again.”

Whoa!

She went on to remind me of how I started the call by telling her all the cool things I’ve been doing. “You were in a relationship for a long, time. You’re getting Candace time for the first time in your adult life. Why not enjoy that?”

She was right, but I hung up wondering what I really want. Do I want this journalism career I built for myself? Meh, journalism isn’t the dreamy change-the-world endeavor I thought it was when I was editing my college newspaper and reading about Watergate. The only way to make a decent living is to hand out “click candy.” I don’t feel great about that.

What about Seattle? I said I’d go back there in May, but I’m not sure I really want to anymore. I’ve come to like blue skies, sunshine and Seamless ordering.

I sit here in my six-month sublet, unable to click a button to register for spring semester classes, because I’m not sure this is what I even want to do. Plus, what if I get that awesome job in London, but I’m stuck at NYU until June?

My roommate isn’t my favorite person in the world, but I don’t want to think about committing to a full-lease and purchasing a sofa of my own. I bought a colander last week. Isn’t that commitment enough? Stop pressuring me!

I just wrote a 90-day plan for a class assignment: Setting a goal and working backward with the steps to accomplish it. It got me wondering what I want to accomplish personally in the next 90 days.

 

  1. I want to go to Hawaii and spend a week playing with friends. I want to have a rocking body when I go to Hawaii and my trainer has worked me hard. So I’m good with committing to more sessions with her and doing some time at Circuit and the gym downstairs
  2. I’d like to move to Brooklyn, so I need to start looking for a place and determining what kind of term I’d be comfortable with. I also need to find a roommate who isn’t a nutcase. A jackpot find would be a sublet on a furnished studio until summer sometime.
  3. I want to volunteer. I found a New York healthy eating group I’m interested in. This could be a good career growth opportunity for me as well. Step 1: Make a phone call!
  4. Make new friends in New York, but I’ve already started on this one.

 

I’m actually feeling better after getting this down on paper. Maybe I should just register for those classes now. What do you think?