When I was in my mid 30s, after spending something like a decade and a half in small-time journalism, I went back to college and completed my four-year degree. My dad wondered why I did not major in Journalism since that is what I had been working in. I chose political science.
Coincidentally that is the major both my dad and one of my brothers chose. My dad was a journalist and the brother is a lawyer. On my return to college I took three Spanish language classes and thoroughly enjoyed them. I had tried to take Spanish in high school but just could not catch on and dropped out. Actually I was kicked out for not showing up to class.
I went back to journalism after college because what else could I do? I tried to apply for other things but people could not get past my newspaper background. I applied at a law office because I had obtained a paralegal certificate in college. But the lawyer remarked to me hesitantly: “so you are used to telling the truth”. I did not know how to answer that question, apparently, although I tried. I didn’t get the job.
I’ve told that story before. But it is a true story. I should explain that the firm was one who represented firms being sued for personal or on-the-job injuries. It was in their interest to deny claims by people who had been injured. I had told a fellow student about the job. He was an ex paramedic. He got the job. Maybe I should not have told him. But then again, I don’t think I was right for the job.
I did not try very hard, I admit, but I failed to get any jobs in politics or lobbying. Early on I volunteered to write a speech or statement for a woman who was running for the office of county clerk. She had been on the staff of the clerk’s office for years. I had dealt with her as a reporter and she had been very helpful. I think she figured I owed her. I got nothing for it. Never talked to her again. She won the election.
After failing to get any other jobs after returning to college I landed a job at a small daily newspaper after I told the editor on the phone that I had just gone through an interview at another small daily and the editor there was very insulting and that I had no intention of going to his interview to be insulted. I said, you have my resume and clips, if there is a problem, tell me now and let me save the trip. He said come on down. I got the job. I only stayed there a year. I moved on. Not up. Just on.
After a few more years in small-time journalism I finally made a break for it and became a truck driver.
I have made a lot better money (although nothing to brag about really) and have been able to go to Spain twice and use my Spanish.
Plan to go again this year.
I call that a success, finally.
Strange how things sometimes work out in the end.