Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Negative Nellie, Negative Nancy, Negative Nineveh?

Negativity. I'm convinced it's a philosophical concept, practiced by millions worldwide. You may be a negative nellie, negative nancy...whatever you call it. But I had to ask MYSELF, "Am I a Negative Nineveh?" Suddenly I'm starting to dislike my name. After carefully analyzing whether or not I belong to the "Negative Nellie" club(no membership fees by the way; it's free to join!), I decided yeah. I can be negative. No, I'm not a pessimist. I'm the opposite. An optimist who has always believed there are skittles at the end of a rainbow, and leprechauns with gold too. Okay, sounds rather fanciful but the truth is my self-exploration journey (especially lately) has more to do with whether I'm a victim of circumstances. Yes, I shouted to myself! I'm negativity's VICTIM. Throw negativity in jail! Negativity is guilty for causing my tension headaches and the fine lines on my face. Wish it was that easy. Playing the blame game is always the easiest way out...

Negativity crept up on me. It didn't just possess me overnight. It took weeks, maybe months. It's hard to self-diagnose yourself, but as I float in this cloud of negativity, I wonder "How did I become so negative?" I contemplate. I was raised by a family of drama queens? No, that's not it. If anything that's what makes me so eccentric. I'm proud of that. Wait, is eccentricity a bad thing? According to wikipedia, maybe. Anyway, I went through a list of questions, not appropriate for my blog, but I think I've figured out part of the problem. I have surrounded myself with Negative Nellies. Yes, people who think to themselves "my life is so tragic." But fading Negative Nellies out of your life is not as easy as pushing the delete button on your computer. Besides, sometimes it's fun listening to Negative Nancy talk about her dating disasters. Oh and while we're on the topic, there are plenty of Negative Neds out there too. Negativity isn't just reserved for females. I wonder who coined the term anyway? Could it have been a MALE?

Clearly I've veered off topic. But only momentarily. The point is...what is the point!? No more negativity. Yes, I'm going live in a bubble of happiness. Unfortunately it's not in my nature to bake cookies and bring them into work. I buy candy and dump it in the middle of the newsroom. Yeah, right on the floor. Trick or treat. No, I'm teasing. I at least put it on a table, but that's just me. And while we're on the subject, "me" doesn't want to have negative thoughts anymore. Because negativity breeds negativity. It's like a vicious cycle. I should just quit cold turkey. So here it goes...

Dear Negative Nelly,

I want to break up. For good this time. It's not you. It's me. It's just time we both go our separate ways. And while I know you'll drop by once in a while to say hello, I want you to know that I'm serious about our relationship. It's over.

Your ex,
Nineveh (p.s. I'm officially dropping "Negative" from my name. My lawyer will send you the paperwork.)

In all seriousness, transforming into a more positive person won't be easy. But I think it starts with recognition. Then action. Then change. Not that I necessarily want to change who I am. Not at all. Just those negative thoughts that stop so many of us from chasing our dreams. Those negative thoughts that get us down during the day. Those negative thoughts that do us no good!

Now ask yourself, is your glass half empty or half full? And if it's not the latter, wouldn't life be so much more grand if it were? Yeah, I'm starting to think so too.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I'm human too.

I've been obsessed with reading about journalists and their journeys. Especially lately. And partially because I wonder how much of my insanity is normal. Anyway. I'm reading Robin Meade's book, "Morning Sunshine!" Anybody watch her on HLN in the mornings? I don't. But only because we work the same hours. I know who she is, and I've seen her "work." She seems so real. And I say that because so many of us aren't. I probably shouldn't say that as if it's entirely true; I can only speak for myself. I think I'm real. Most of the time anyway. But I'll tell you what I have learned. The more I am myself on the air, the less self-conscious I am off the air. And visa versa. Be yourself. Now there's a novel idea! But so many of us focus on the public's perception of who we are that we forget to just "be". No matter how hard you try, there will always be a viewer or viewers that bother to email or call you about how terrible you look, and what a horrible human being you are. It's like being bullied all over again. Looking back, I'm thankful to that idiot Craig who called me an "Hairy Iraqi Cow", among other hateful things. It helped me build enough armor to deal with the baggage that comes with being an "on-air personality." Why can't it just be my "personality"? The point of this blog isn't to talk about who I am on television because the truth is I'm a multi-faceted person. I get angry, I cry...sometimes I lose control and yell at the people I love. Sorry. I'd like to think I'm also a compassionate person, who loves to laughs out loud. Just like everyone else. Just like you I'm still trying to figure out my place in this world. And I have to admit, there have been some challenges along the way, in this thing I like to call my journey as a journalist. I've cried myself to sleep many nights. Nights that have been packed with plenty of nightmares about the stories I cover, the people I meet, and my managers.

Anyway. Robin Meade's book is incredible. It's a simple read about how to build confidence, whether you work in television news or not. It's about not being afraid of who you are. I think so many of us are told to "tone it down", be more like this or like that. I'm convinced that's bad advice. Looking back now, I wish books like this had existed when I was in college because while I was busy learning the art of journalism, no one---yeah, NOT ONE professor taught us about what it means to be a "semi" public figure. And I say semi, because I still have a hard time dealing with the knowledge that my life is not entirely private. So instead of trying to hide myself, I just let it all hang out. Because I think that's easier than juggling two different personalities. The crazy thing is nobody, not a News Director, mentor or teacher guided me on how to balance my life as a journalist. Not until now. So I guess I just want to thank Robin for being so blunt. I dig the honesty. Go ahead tell 'em. We're not perfect. And behind that smiling face, there are days that we feel anxious. And unlike her, I haven't been able to master the art of attacking that anxiety head on. I guess it takes time.

I have to admit. Before Robin's book hit store shelves, I began writing my own book. I started to outline my journey...digging deep into my fears as a reporter and how I've overcome some of them. I was hoping to create a guide for future journalists, not that I'm an expert or anything. But after 60 pages into my book, I stopped writing. That was more than a month ago. Why? Writer's block maybe? Nah. I've always got something to say. Then the light bulb went off. Ding! I was so damn focused on writing for someone else. I've been worried about picking and choosing my words carefully. The point is to write about MY journey. It's supposed to be raw, unedited. Thanks to Robin (as strange as it seems), I'm once again focused on why I started chronicling my journey as a journalist. For myself, as selfish as that sounds. And if there happen to be people out there that are interested in what I have to say, then I'll humbly say thank you! I'm still amazed at how wonderful people are; how they've embraced me with all my flaws.

Thank you Robin. And thank you, for taking the time to read this. That's all I wanted to say, lol. Very cheesy, I know.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

10 Dirtiest Foods: Tell me something I don't already know!

As if eating packaged food that's been sitting on dirty, dusty shelves for years doesn't gross me out enough. Now The CDC releases the top ten foods that will make you sick. "This should be an interesting read," I think to myself.

Then I see the list. The usual suspects: Chicken, ground beef, ground turkey. All of them can pick up germs? REALLY!? Thanks for enlightening me (insert sarcasm here).

But wait, it gets betters. Raw Oysters could carry salmonella or E. coli? No kidding!? Anything raw for that matter. Thanks for the two cents.

Number 6 on the dirtiest foods list: Cantaloupe. Yeah, the peel can collect bacteria. Did you know that? Yeah, I didn't either (sprinkled with more sarcasm).

Peaches. Yeah, apparently they don't come blemish-free either. Oh and the pre-packaged, pre-washed lettuce you buy probably isn't really thoroughly washed either. "Wash it yourself to make sure it's clean," advises The CDC. Thanks Mom!

Cold cuts and scallions also made the list of the top ten dirtiest foods. I don't know about you, but I don't really have the luxury of eating scallions. As for cold cuts, what am I supposed to do? Soak it in water?

I know, I know. The Centers for Disease Control is trying to educate the pubic about food borne illnesses. But tell me something I already don't know, or better yet spend the money you're doling out on finding out what's dirtiest on changing the way manufacturers, restaurants, etc. handle food products. Now, there's an idea.

Sorry I'm drenching in sarcasm today.

Oops. I almost forgot to mention. Eggs. They ranked number five on the list. "Make sure you cook those too." ---brought to you by The CDC.