I am a writer, photographer, designer, editor, musician, and amateur videographer who loves the process of creating. I recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and will be attending University of Missouri for my master's in Convergence Journalism in the fall. I love to capture the world around me and add to the creative movement. Because I have been loved, I try to use every moment to give love. I don't always succeed, but each day I'm taking steps, moving and growing into whom I was made to be. Visit my professional site at www.alexandrajacobi.com.
(Source: , via the-bastard-baratheon)
This needs to be said to every showy, overly talkative “know-it-all” in a college classroom.
While I am a pretty straight-forward, honest and raw person in my writing, I am not always this way in my day-to-day life. I’m good at running from my problems and shoving things to the back of the closet, only to be horrified when they come tumbling out later.
I’ve done this with my career. I’ve found myself saying to God, “No, I have to go down this path because it’s safe – viable – economically sustainable – what others want me to do,” all the while being miserable and not telling anyone. I didn’t tell anyone that working for a newspaper made me stressed and unhappy at the end of the day. I didn’t tell anyone that I don’t like reading news. I didn’t tell anyone that I found myself driving backroads sobbing at random times or that I binge-watched TV to escape my reality. No one knew, and I tried with all my might to keep the closet shut.
Yesterday it fell open.
As a reporter for the Missourian, I had a meeting with my editor on Friday for her to check on my progress and give me a grade for my work on my beat thus far. In short, I wasn’t doing well. I hadn’t been published yet, because with the Missourian, you have to give it your all to succeed, and being spread too thin and not liking it, I had tried to make it on limited time. I was trying, but I wasn’t throwing myself into it completely because I didn’t have the time.
So in talking with my editor about this, she said that I might have too much on my plate. She brought a couple of grad students in to talk to me, and they looked at me like I was a crazy person. “Convergence reporting, mass media, a TA at Vox and Missourian reporting at the same time? Who let you do that? That’s almost impossible.” Hearing them say this relieved me. It turns out I don’t suck; I just can’t do everything at once because I’m not superwoman. I had overextended myself.
I think I was unaware that I didn’t like newspaper work and that I had overextended myself because of my past. Having 5,000 things on my plate and doing newspaper work is all I know in the journalism world, and in the past it has made me happy. At The Pacer, running on thin ideas and limited time worked, and there were times I really liked it. But I only liked the logistics of it and not the news. I liked editing, writing, photography and design, but I couldn’t come up with newsy story ideas to save my life. Look at my time in The Pacer and the news you see was mostly formulated by other people, and I just executed it well. I knew how to make a badass website and print edition. I knew how to edit copy well. I knew how to get good photos to accompany stories, and I knew how to utilize social media. All of these made people think I was a good news person, when really I was just a good packager. My favorite moments with The Pacer were when I got to sit down, put in my headphones and work with a screen, making bits and pieces of stuff a coherent whole. With the news stuff, though, I faked it until I made it. And when I got to Columbia, all the faking got to be too much. I wasn’t making it anymore. I was just a fake.
So, after talking with grad students and my editor, I decided to drop the class, which was a big decision for me. I’ve never dropped a class in my college career. Not even when I had geology my freshman year and hated it, nor when I had a crazy history professor my freshman year whose tests required me to study for 14 hours straight for even a B. I don’t give up. It’s just not in my character. Something can be painstakingly miserable, and I will grit my teeth and walk through it rather than be a sane and normal person and just say no. I don’t know why. It’s this crazy OCD thing. I just don’t give up.
But Friday I gave up. I walked with resolve out of Lee Hills to Martha Pickens’s office, explained to her why I wanted to drop, and she told me that it was doable. So, I walked to the J Cafe, opened MyZou and watched the class disappear from my schedule.
And while there was a naggy part of me that felt guilty about it all weekend, telling me that I had failed, there was another part of me that felt free. The mask is off now. I don’t want newspaper work. I want to design, photograph, edit/write for magazines and write a book. These are my goals now. And tonight I finally feel like I’m on the way to happiness, because once again, I’ve got the headphones in, the screen before me and the promise of creation.
It may not be worldly, economically wise or what the world would consider successful, but it’s my calling and where I shine brightest. In an interview I had with someone the other day, she told me that you know you’re in the right job when it hugs you back at the end of the day. It hit me like a sack of bricks, because I knew that my job didn’t do that. At the end of the day as a news reporter, I feel lonely, small and sad. I had begun to hate myself because I couldn’t fit the mold. I’m not going to lie: the journey to self love is still difficult. I scream at myself some days and hate the person beneath this skin. But some days, I see the sun poke its head out of the clouds, and I know that even when the hall is dark and I can’t see a door out of it, there is a light on somewhere, waiting for me.
And I plan to make it there.