It’s Not Enough To Want My Job

I have to want it enough.

If you really want to do this, prepare to arrange your schedule and life around it. It’s not enough to want this; you have to want it enough. Think about it as a parallel to a love relationship. — Jim Shepard

Because that’s what it has to be.

I started my new job on Tuesday, and it’s been pretty amazing. It’s also been stressful, awkward, sobering, and terrifying—sometimes all at once. I’m at the end of my weekend right now and I’m trying to phrase it as “I get to go to work tomorrow” instead of “I have to,” but it’s hard because a part of me does just want to stay home where it’s comfortable and I can hide behind a keyboard and blanket and not have to put myself out there.

The idea of putting myself out there makes me feel anxious, but as a journalist, it’s a large part of what I have to do now. I appreciate that. I think it’s healthy for me, even if it does cause me to feel stress. I can’t learn about myself or about the world if I just stay in my comfort zone all the time. I can’t write about experiences if I don’t put myself out there to have them, and I can’t write about the news if I don’t put myself out there to get the information I need.

I started during a week when they were shorthanded, so they kind of tossed me in headfirst, and then it was up to me to decide whether I’d be able to swim or whether I’d drown under the pressure. So I decided: I’m going to swim.

I can do this. I want this. I want this enough to make it happen.

It’s true that in most cases, wanting something isn’t enough to make it happen. You have to want it enough. I have to want it enough if I’m going to succeed as a journalist, and as a full-time writer. I have to get up in the morning and put in the work. I have to come home and put in the work.

I thought I would have to arrange my schedule and my life around being a journalist—that I would never have time to breathe. That’s not entirely true: I’ve had some space over the weekend. When I go back to work tomorrow, though, I think I’ll have to hit the ground running again. I’ll dive back in headfirst, and I’ll swim.

“Think about it as a parallel to a love relationship.” Well, I love writing. I love my work, and I love seeing my byline in the paper. Part of me even loved the feeling of having to run around hectically on Saturday because I hadn’t picked up all the papers I needed on my way to work that morning, and I had to leave the office to go get them.

“I had to leave the office.” I love the way that sounds.

Being a journalist does not feel easy, and even though my coworkers say that I’ll get faster and it’ll get easier, right now it doesn’t feel like it will. But that doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable, or that it’s not worth it.

I have so much to do right now. I have forms to fill out and turn in, notes to transcribe, phone calls to make, dress pants and desk supplies to shop for, and probably assignments that are due this week that I’m not even aware yet I need to get started on.

It’s going to be another hell of a week. But I can do it.

I want this enough to make it happen.

I like to write things that make people uncomfortable.

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