Photo above is me at age 6 (always a camera and a “cape”) and my kid sister who was always my sidekick.
I grinned out the windows of my car, relishing the feeling of the sunset in my heart. I turned my head up to look out the sunroof as Mary Chapin Carpenter struck her first cord from my iPod.
“Saw my life this morning, lying at the bottom of a drawer… and whatever I believed in, this is all I have to show…”
Then and there I broke down.
As the tears streamed down my face, I realized I had been lying to everyone; especially to myself. I am not okay.
On June 8, at 10:05 a.m. I lost my family, my passion, and the part of me I loved the most.
A newsroom was never an office for me; it was always home.
The reporters, editors and photographers were family.
I always had plenty of “fathers/mothers” with sympathetic ears, scolding voices, and a path to follow.
A bother, with mocking tones and supportive stories.
Sisters to bond with, to grow with.
I am desperately homesick.
I don’t fit in this new life of mine, yet. I feel as lost as a freshmen in a dorm-room, calling mom to feel a semblance of home.
Like a freshman, I am searching.
“I saw you this morning, you were staring back at me, from an ancient photograph, stuck between some letters and some keys.”
84 days ago, I knew who I was. I could define my dreams, my hopes, I knew the girl in the mirror and loved her.
She used the gifts she had been given to make a difference, to give a voice to the voiceless.
I ache to be back at a paper. I would give anything to shoot the “shitty” assignments, I complained about less than a year ago.
I am too scared to go back to another paper. Because I wonder, “could I stand losing this part of me one more time?”
“I’m not running, I’m not reaching. I’m just resting in the arms of the great wide open, gonna pull my soul in and I’m almost home.”
Am I running? Am I not reaching? Am I ever going to be “home again?” Am I ever going to feel my heart and soul be in this new life?
Am I being a spoiled little girl to complain when she is starting, what looks like, a successful business, with amazing clients, and fun shoots?
Deep down I know I am growing-up, becoming self-reliant.
Cutting off the pigtails, shucking the overalls, finding her older sister’s stash of makeup and transforming into a woman.
For the first time I am standing on my own, and deep down, I know it will make me stronger.
“There is no such thing as no regrets, and baby it’s alright.”
I am struggling. There is no other way to put it. But I have no regrets, and I know it will be alright.
I am learning new things, finding new talents, greater strengths.
But every once in awhile I get “lost for a moment in the ache of old goodbyes,” I find myself missing Dan Pelle’s voice or Paul Carters tips before an assignment. I start to feel I am betraying my stories, like Reagan Hailey and Craig Tanner, by not pounding the pavement for the paper everyday.
Homesickness will pass in time, but for now I am cluttering my desk with coffee stained papers, smudging ink on my face and eating cup o’ noodles until it does.