A quiet and seldom expressed dream of mine (because my professional experience has slowly led me in a different direction) has always been to become a proper, newspaper journalist. I have vivid memories of cuddling up with Pappy (my grandfather) at about the age of six and discussing who I’d like to be when I grew up. I toyed with doctor, but didn’t like the idea of blood and guts, and was then dissuaded from “member of the Battlestar Galactica bridge crew” (on the basis that it would be difficult to work so closely with Richard Hatch, my first crush). My third answer, and the one that has secretly always remained the only answer, was Kate Adie.
Intrepid, trustworthy and dominating the news during my formative years, Ms. Adie seemed the voice of all that was interesting in the world. I’m not sure whether it was the influence of my father, who always encouraged me to find out as much about anything and everything as I possibly can (although he was probably not referring to cakes and science fiction), or the sheer pull of the knowledge that woman must possess, but I adore her to this day.
The meandering trail of my career took me back and forth between magazines, books and websites and sometimes tantalisingly close to newspapers, but never close enough for my liking. I had all but given up on that quiet dream… and then I moved across the ocean and essentially rebooted my life.
Today marks the end of my first week as the reporter for The Sundance Times, the local newspaper I’ve had my eye on since I began considering the idea of a transatlantic move. During my twiddly fingered down-time, while waiting for my green card, I dreamed up several potential ideas for columns and articles that might interest them, once I was able to begin the pestering process.
I didn’t have to. My uncle-in-law (to whom I shall be eternally grateful) poked me with a heads up that the reporter post had become available and, after a frantic update of my resume, which didn’t have my new name on it, let alone my most recent work at Amazon and FlowMotion, I called, emailed and crossed everything my body would allow me to cross, including my eyes. I was invited in for an interview, and given the job on the spot.
I have my own office (something that seldom happens in England, as we tend to utilise our lack of space with open-plan mischief), my first article is almost complete, I have attended my first meeting of the City Council and pitched a full 10 articles from what I learned – I am in heaven.
To be the staff reporter for the newspaper that published my wedding announcement as my first job in the US is a dreamlike experience. I know my father is proud, and Hubby wore his Superman pants in tribute to being married to Lois Lane (not over the top of his trousers, disappointingly), and I would like to think that Pappy, too, is looking down and smiling, and probably muttering that he told me so.
For my part, I should like to alter the claim I made in my last post that my American dream is to wake up in a pizza-sheet tent, chewing on a cookie pillow. It turns out that my American dream is also my lifelong dream, and has come true.