Dreams don’t work unless you do…

Well, I did it.

I not only accepted a job offer that would allow me to do what I love most and have always wanted to do–write and be a reporter–but, I also moved–OUT of state. What? Can you even believe it?

I still can’t.

I’m sitting here on a Friday night, having successfully completed my first week as a reporter for The Chronicle-Tribune. I tell ya, every time I walk towards my building and see the name on the building (AND see my byline in print) I get all tingly inside.

I know, it sounds a tad lame, but, after almost nearly two years of applying to journalism job after journalism job, I was beginning to think I might never get to work in my field. I thought, maybe I would be like most other college graduates where they earned a degree in something specific, but, then did something completely non-related–and not by choice.

After I had my in person interview I gave it a lot of thought and wondered if I could and actually would move away from home. Sure, I lived away for college, but, it was in the SAME state and only ONE hour away. My new home now is just under three, which is actually not quite as far is my cottage is up north, which is nice. But, I remember doing the Disney College Program three years ago and feeling happy on one hand I was working at the happiest place on Earth, but, then having the other part of me feeling like a part of me was missing because I was so far away from my family. And I mean yeah, I knew it wouldn’t be for forever–the program was only a semester long but, to me, it felt like it was going to be forever until I saw them again.

Flash forward three years later, to now, and here I am at just two weeks away from turning 26-years-old, living on my own, and working my dream career as a reporter. I smiled as I typed that because it just still seems surreal. While I am not 100% unpacked and therefore don’t feel 100% absolute settled in, I’ve been doing my best to adjust my life accordingly at my new apartment, my job and the town of Marion in general. And yes, I miss my family and friends like crazy but, honestly, I keep so busy that sometimes I just simply don’t have time to miss them. (Of course I don’t mean that as a bad thing. I always miss them in the back of my mind.)

Let me give you my opinion on the town of Marion…

It’s definitely different than back home. But, like any town across the U.S., it has both good parts and bad parts to it. The good/nice part about it is that it is trying to rebuild itself; it has the huge General Motors factory; and, it has some of the nicest people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Sure, I’ve also had some “different” encounters, but, it’s what makes this new chapter of my life so interesting. And then there’s the bad–there’s some areas that are really run down, there’s a big heroin and pseudophedrine problem here. But, like I said, this town has good and bad just like any other.

Now, as for my job, even though it’s only been one full week of working at it, I really do enjoy it so far. My boss is awesome, as is my other boss, and my co-workers have been nothing but extremely helpful. It’s definitely a fast-paced job–probably more so than I was actually expecting, but, my boss cares about all of us employees and he even checked in with me today to make sure I was doing alright. Speaking of… I had a story due today for an upcoming Rubber Duck Race and, by accident, I deleted the interview from my phone through voice memos, and, sadly, in this day and age of iPhones, it couldn’t be retrieved. Now of course I did what any good reporter would do and I also wrote information down in my reporter’s notebook, as well as immediately told my boss what happened. He was understanding, and told me to write the article to the best of my ability. I told him I would get right on it, although, a small part of me on the inside was panicking, not thinking I would be able to pull it off. But, I did. And while it was aggravating for me to make a mistake like that so soon in the game, I was proud of myself for overcoming it.

Other than that flub, today and this week in general has been interesting. I say interesting because I can’t really think of a better way to describe it. I don’t mean it to be a bad thing but, the stories I’ve gotten to write have been unique. My first story assignments were about GM celebrating its 60th anniversary today at its Marion plant and the other was about the first performance for the Concert in the Park series. That was really cool because of all the people it brought to it, and the cute elderly couple I had the pleasure of interviewing and talking to. Another story I did was the goat show yesterday evening. Now that one I will tell you, I was super nervous about because I didn’t know anything about goats, let alone a goat show. But, I somehow pulled it off and I think it was a good piece. Which reminds me… A man who participated in the show wanted me to e-mail him a copy. I’ll do that later.

And then of course there was my story today. At the local county jail 34 men and women were baptized. Going into it I had my own personal thoughts about it, but, as a reporter it’s my job to be objective. So I went and interviewed a young woman who had tears in her eyes as she told me about how growing up she had a hard life and wanted to really turn her life around and how she thought getting baptized was a step in the right direction. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what it was like to be in her shoes or any of the other inmates in there. But, deep down, I did hope that their baptisms really do lead them in the right direction. As did the sheriff there–you could tell by the way he interacted with the men and women that he really does care for them, and, he even told me he has high hopes of these individuals turning their lives around.

So as you can see, this week has been a whirlwind. I’m exhausted, and like I said, I’m still not fully unpacked, and, as I was working on unpacking some more before writing this post, I realized I have TOO. MUCH. DAMN. STUFF. Well, okay, so I blamed the small closet and cabinet space and lack of dresser but then I snapped myself back to reality and realized it’s just because I have too much stuff. If you look under my bathroom sink and see all of my Bath and Body Works body washes and hand soaps you would think I was a hoarder, which, maybe I am just a tad. 😉

But anyway… Fun/random fact… My dad was kind enough to buy me a hammer and nails so I could actually be an adult and hang the rest of the stuff he and my grandpa didn’t get to last weekend. LOL. So far I’ve hung TWO things. Woo! Making progress. HAHA!

Other fun facts…

  • I asked my friend Dennis who is originally from Indiana if they return bottles here and he said no, and said if I ask anyone that that they will call me a communist. LOL!
  • I’ve had three people ask me what church I go to–and have one man go out of his way to get me to join his. I appreciated all gestures.
  • The bar I went to last weekend that remind’s me of the Crystal Bar has SALOON doors as their bathroom stalls in the women’s bathroom. I died laughing.
  • Everyone here is SUPER nice–at least, the people I’ve met so far
  • My landlord said I had a neighbor that she thought was a doctor, however, I have seen no sign of ANYONE in the apartment as a piece of paper has been in the door ALL week and it’s been nothing but silence — ALSO, there’s been this car in the SAME spot ALL week as well, with clothes in it, and so no joke, I’m wondering if the person got kidnapped or…. Well…. Something…
  • My one neighbor’s dog downstairs barks at really obnoxious times–like almost every time I am walking up the stairs coming home from work and DOESN’T STOP barking
  • My other neighbor and her two sons are SUPER nice. Her one son was kind enough to help my parents, grandparents and me move stuff into my apartment last weekend
  • I almost hit a cat on my way to work yesterday. I know, awful. I kept thinking that if I had hit it I most certainly would have thrown up. Crisis averted.
  • On my way home from work the other night, a dog ran out in front of me and it made me sad that no one was even remotely close around looking for it 😦 I wanted to bring it home but obviously I wasn’t about to get fined by my apartment landlord, and I didn’t know if it was a nice dog or a mean dog. I do hope it found its way home or that someone else took it in.
  • Yesterday I got to do a phone interview with the country duo, LOCASH, who will be performing at next week’s Concert in the Park. Sidenote: They were SO nice! 🙂

I could go on and on about the little things I’ve observed/done in the week I’ve been here but, it’s now 11 p.m. and my laundry needs switched over, and I need to get some sleep tonight so I can wake up bright and early to pack and then hit the road back to Michigan tomorrow for the night. And as tired as I’ll be, I am SUPER excited because Cassie and I are going to Taste of Country in the afternoon AND my brother, sister-in-law and niece and nephew are coming to visit from Illinois. It’ll be a quick and bittersweet trip, but, well worth it. Especially since I’ll eventually have to work some weekends–hopefully not my birthday–but, even if I do, it’s okay because, I am doing what I love and practice will only continue to make perfect. 🙂

So, until next time…

XO,

Ana