Thursday, April 15, 2010

Disappointments, failure and why I keep going

This morning I was talking to my favorite co-worker about life's big disappointments,(yes, we are always rainbows and sunshine in the morning), and the overall ratio of disappointment to triumph as it has occurred in our lives.

The biggest disappointment that I can remember is when I applied for the IRTS (International Radio & Television Society) internship in college. I had big dreams, but hated the city I was in, the restaurant job I worked and the jerk that I was dating. I needed to get out of there. And to a small town girl like me, landing ANYTHING in New York was "making it."

In my mind, that internship would lead to another internship with This American Life immediately following graduation and then that would lead to a successful and lucrative career in Broadcasting, ideally CNN but I would be open-minded about other major news sources. The Mary Tyler Moore theme song played over and over in my mind and I imagined myself standing in the middle of Times Square, tossing my hat in the air promptly upon arrival.

Needless to say, none of that happened. When I received a phone call mid-shift at my restaurant job from the jerk I was dating, saying that the email (they were checking it for me) came and I had not been chosen, I lost it. I regretted even applying and getting my hopes up and I feared this was a signed that I was doomed to small town mediocrity forever. I figured I may as well even quit the upscale restaurant I worked at and put an application in at the Waffle House, just to enhance the level of tragedy. Then, I walked into the walk-in freezer and screamed as loud as I could.

After that, despite my lack of self-confidence, I applied for two more national internships that I also did not get. Shortly afterward, I applied for a local internship at a television station and was hired as a full-time news reporter. Not that it was a super glamorous job, but it was a really great start and I learned a lot.

I took a lot of chances over the past few years. Right now, I'm living in an amazing city that I'm absolutely in love with, with a beautiful girl who I'm absolutely in love with. I'm not rich or famous and I don't have an awesome job (yet), but I'm still putting myself out there and hoping for the best.

After all, whatever it is that you really want, you'll never get it if you don't try, right?