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.


CFM said...

This is spot on. We get so caught up with trying to be what others expect of us, we can forget who we really are. We all need to relearn that it is okay to love who we are. Sometimes it just takes us a while to actually discover who that is.

Thank you posting this Nineveh. It's a good message for anyone, journalist or not.

Anonymous said...

I like your blog and what you had to say and I wish that some people would stop trying to be things that they're not. I feel that if you can't be who you are around people then your fake, and if people can't accept you for how you look or what you wear or just how you act, then they miss the bus. I like watching you and the others in the morning before going to work. I don't like hearing all the bad news that's going on in our world, But at if I can leave my house laughing at what something your crew might have said I know it's going to be a GOOD DAY!! P.S. For what I seen of you and how you conduct yourself, your a very good person and NOT FAKE.........Peace out!

Anonymous said...

Somebody actually called you a "hairy Iraqi cow"? What is wrong with people. That couldn't be farther from the truth, and I am sure he just said it not because he really felt that way about you personally, but because he wanted to hurt someone, anyone, and you were someone he could lash out at that he knew would not do anything back. You're in the public, and it gives people a target to vent their various emotions on, whether you really have anything to do with those emotions or not.

It reminds me of ppl that hate on Bush. He's a public figure and easy to vent on because ppl know that nothing is going to happen to them for it. So out come the knives. Doesn't matter what he did, really. Some people are going to hate just because they need someone to hate in an attempt to make themselves feel better, and public figures make easy targets that don't fight back.

Be yourself. Not for others, but for yourself. And don't let random pieces of this and that coming from random places for random reasons dictate your own emotions.

- Danton

jebro said...

I'm definitely adding that book to my list.

Unlike the second commenter I'm not tuning in for a laugh, I'm tuning in for the news. But that's not to say I want the anchors and reporters to be completely serious. I like to see their true personalities coming through too. I like to see that they're human like the rest of us and not completely jaded from the things that they have to report daily.

I don't know, it's a fine line sometimes and I can't say I can fully draw the distinction at what irritates me and what endears me to a reporter. I think the important thing is just to be authentic.