Friday, September 24, 2010

nooks and crannies

What on earth is a cranny?

I wish I could blog regularly, but I always end up writing so much that I get exhausted by the act of updating, and I'm sure the two people who read this get exhausted too.

Not much to report on the home front. We watched Mark graduate from boot camp last week, all spiffy in his "dress blue deltas," whatever that means. He's probably the only person I know who left boot camp thinking it was too easy; he said they didn't work them hard enough and he's gotten fat. He may be psychotic. But it's been good being home with him, watching The Unit and eating peanut butter M&Ms and being lazy together.

I'm not at all packed for school; today was actually the first day that I UN-packed from Chile. (With all the boxes and stacks in here, and remembering my time frame at the end of school, I guess I never really unpacked from my apartment, either. Yikes.) But oh well. I'll get it together tomorrow afternoon.

Man, I'm boring. I wish I were in Chile again. Being in Chile was innately interesting; more interesting than me sitting at home, anyway. (Although it didn't have peanut butter M&Ms, which detracts from its interest quite a lot.) I hope they miss me over there. My host cousin/favorite Chilean said I was the first gringo to really be a part of their group; I really hope I get to reunite with them someday soon. There's that friend dilemma again - making them and leaving them.

But I'm trying to look at it from a different perspective--a less painful perspective. When I came home, I started telling myself that I wasn't leaving anywhere--I was just going somewhere new. It requires some shifting in my brain; home may not be able to be home base forever; it just gets to be a new destination. Going to Chile was an adventure, going to Richland was the next adventure, going to Seattle on Saturday will be the next. It's all semantics. If I say it right, I never have to leave anything.

It's just an odd thought to bounce around in my jangly-jumbly head.

All these people I've met and left - I'm keeping a mental list of the countries I could visit and stay with friends. (If any of you are reading...surprise! I'm counting you as good enough people to let me crash on your couch.) There's Scotland with Megan, whom I met in our hostel in Barcelona and with whom I've stayed in contact via Facebook for the past 2 years; Germany with Helge and France with Francois, both of whom I met in Cadiz and have kept up with on Facebook as well; Alexandra in Switzerland and Alexandra in Portugal, both from Reuters; Migue in Spain or the Canary Islands, wherever he happens to be at the time; Gaby in Peru, also Reuters; and the mission team in the Dominican. How many is that? Eight? Wow. Oh, and the family in Chile, obviously, so nine. Yep. Someday I'll save up enough money to go visit all these fantastic people.

Every now and then I just have to shake my head and wonder at my life. I have been so blessed in such a short amount of time--my life is like Never Land -no gaps between adventures, but nicely crammed. I'm 21 and I've lived on three continents! How did that happen?

Exciting times, my friends.

Love always,

Thursday, September 2, 2010

man up already

I'm a bit disappointed with myself today.

Last week, as part of the constant barrage of in-company e-mails that we get on a daily basis, I received a job advert message, advising everyone of positions available within Rtrs.

Most of the time, the job descriptions in these e-mails make me start to hyperventilate. They're so intimidating! I didn't know such widely capable people existed. Take today's for example, calling for a company news correspondent in Beijing:

"The successful candidate will have extensive experience in China, and a record at breaking news in this fast developing market. In addition to reporting on China’s domestic companies and the steady stream of top foreign executives that pass through Beijing, the reporter will also break source-based stories and write ahead-of-the curve analyses and interviews. Broad familiarity with the strategic and financial challenges facing Asian businesses is essential, and the candidate will be able to speak Mandarin and read Chinese. The reporter will be required to travel on assignment from time to time and to work the occasional weekend shift."

That's not even half as bad as the alert about positions in Russia that opened up this week. I had the urge to run away from my computer after reading those ones.

But anyway - usually, reading these just depresses me and makes me think that I'll never, ever be able to work in this company.

But last week, I read one that made me excited instead of discouraged. It was for an "enthusiastic, enterprising reporter" in Ireland, a 3-person bureau that's covering Ireland's economic woes as well as the political unrest between Northern Ireland and the UK.

I read the whole advert, sat back and started dreaming. Ireland. I could do that. I'm not quite there yet, but give me this fall quarter, one more macroeconomics class and weeks spent reading everything Reuters or Bloomberg writes about it, and I could be there.

I spent a week going back and forth on my own confidence--could I do it, really? Wouldn't they just laugh in my face? And really, I don't meet the requirements; I haven't even graduated yet. But then I'd tell myself, Hey, it takes at least 2 months to get a work visa finalized; by that time I'd almost be done with school. And talk about enthusiastic! Who's more enthusiastic than a starry-eyed 21-year-old, fresh out of college? No one, that's who!

But I waited, and waited. Finally on Tuesday, I hesitantly brought it up to my boss, posing it more as a "Could we do a mock-job application for this, just to see what I would need?" My boss, who is awesome, said, "Well, don't you just want to have a go?" Huyyy! Maybe...? No. Maybe??

He gave me the hiring manager's number, told me to call her; I did, she didn't answer. He said, no matter, call tomorrow. Yesterday I put it off, trying to think of something intelligent to say into the phone - "Hi, I meet none of the requirements, but I was wondering if it'd be worth it for me to apply?" By the time my boss asked me if I'd called her, it was past work hours in Ireland. Whew. He said, "Well, call tomorrow."

I didn't call today.

He figured it out; at about 3 p.m. here, he said, "You never called, did you?" I told him I chickened out, and he told me that being pushy is a necessary trait in a journalist. "There are plenty of other people out there who want to make you fail. You don't want to be doing it to yourself."

Ireland. I could've done Ireland, I really could've. How old am I going to be before I get over this stupid, self-deprecating fear of failure?

Love always,