The start of a new year always makes me hopeful for an improvement over the previous year. For the last seven years, ever since the death of my parents, I’ve felt like my life has been (trying to putting a positive spin on it) in a “regeneration phase”.
This shift in my life, was the result of a role reversal. My sister and I went from adult children happy to have their parents’ advice to parental caregivers making medical and financial decisions we didn’t feel ready to handle. The natural progression of adult child turned parental caregiver happened much sooner that I had anticipated or expected. But, ready or not, life has a way of throwing you into uncharted waters and it’s get busy sinkin’ or get busy swimmin’.
As a 10 year-old enrolled in swimming lessons at a local college, I experienced the intimidation of having to swim across the deep end of the pool. I started out, confidently enough, but got half-way across the eight foot deep water and my right arm went numb. The previous day’s polio vaccine had rendered me helpless and I started to go under. My Mom alerted the swimming teachers who patrolled their students poolside. Just as I was about to reach the other side of the deep end; a teacher, kneeling beside the pool, pulled me out of the water.
The last seven years have felt like uncharted waters for me; personally, professionally and physically. Dealing with COVID-19 these last two years has put everyone in uncharted waters. Our national solidarity has been fractured and the emotional toll has been unprecedented. Now, it’s time to get busy sinkin’ or get busy swimmin’.
Currently, I find the direction of my career is in a pivot as well. While I fully understand that the popularity of the print media has been declining for some time; hit hard by the effects of COVID-19; I feel very strongly about the work I do as a freelance photojournalist and fiction writer.
When I am working on a story (covering an event or interviewing someone) I am exercising my first amendment rights, ensuring your first amendment rights and securing the first amendment rights of the publications I represent. My vocation is a piece of my identity. Writing is as as much a part of me as is being a wife, mother or practicing Catholic.
I am done mourning the career losses I have had over the past two years. I am honored, happy and grateful to continue working in the print media and I look forward to exciting opportunities ahead. It is definitely time to get busy swimmin’.