Check out my photo from Red Bull Sound Select Presents: Austin http://win.gs/1sYsABk #soundselect #breakmusic @RBsoundselect
Rury Red Bull Sound Select Presents: Austin http://win.gs/1sYsqK2 #soundselect #breakmusic @RBsoundselect
Red Bull Sound Select Presents: Austin http://win.gs/1qU96td #soundselect #breakmusic @RBsoundselect
Clowning at Red Bull Sound Select Presents: Austin http://win.gs/1wWEyuj #soundselect #breakmusic @RBsoundselect
Check out my photo from Red Bull Sound Select Presents: Austin http://win.gs/1pqQBfe #soundselect #breakmusic @RBsoundselect
Rory & I at Red Bull Sound Select Presents: Austin http://win.gs/1rlw5MX #soundselect #breakmusic @RBsoundselect
This is the life of the left behind journalists (though don’t pigeon hole us by saying we haven’t capitalized on our other skills— we also taught ourselves copywriting, branding, content strategy, editing. copyediting, social media, customer support, web development, photography, and a myriad of other marketable communications skills. We are by no means purists. We are hungry, we are willing, and we are lethal).
There is a small subculture that exists amongst us. We are brought together through our misery, through our shared ambition, and ruthless desire to simply make a living wage doing what we were trained, schooled, (and if I daresay, were born) to do. We are the ones who took all AP and Honors courses in high school, except for STEM.
We ruthlessly dedicated ourselves to some sport or lofty endeavor like student government. Whatever it was, our peers did it “for fun,” but we never had a way of processing what that meant. We did it to win. We did it because we were hungry for victory, and lacing up cross country spikes and lining up half-naked, huddled against hundreds of other skeletal overachievers on a Saturday morning was the closest thing we had to going to battle. Blood hungry and deranged, we hid our ambitious sociopathy behind test score mania and obsessively jotting down mile times and k splits during math class.
We did not party. We weren’t even invited to party. We were on newspaper staff because we’d been waiting to be on newspaper staff since we were seven, and we were desperate for hands on experience. We came prepared for pitching sessions, and we were in our element roaming the halls with our cameras and notepads, excused with a hall pass to interview and practice journalism.
College was four years of the same gruel. We barely partied, and we were wholly dedicated to academia and sport, Society of Professional Journalists, PRSSA, or whatever obsessive secondary figure was in our lives. We arose at 5 or 6 a.m. daily to practice our sport, and poured ourselves into our classes, always worried that we’d come up short. But four years of worry and dedication got us silly little titles like “magna cum laude” at graduation, and won us useless awards that no one would ever care about, save our mums, who would have been proud regardless.
We graduated, and we continued to hustle. We dedicated ourselves to our craft with fervor. We did all the things we were supposed to do. We are master networkers. We are adaptable. We are easy to get along with. We always deliver on deadline. We love receiving constructive criticism. We ache to please our editors, peers, and readers, and if we can’t please, we are even more satisfied to educate, enlighten, entertain, or at least make some person out there feel a little less alone in this heartbreaking journey we’ve christened “life.”
In the midst of a harrowing recession, we’ve watched our peers get staff positions. We’ve experienced true happiness for those who go on to take jobs at agencies and startups. We try not to bristle when our full-time, salary earning friends say that they’ve been there and totally understand the hustle, keep that chin up, our ship will come too! ~*Hearts & stars*~, #girlboss, just lean in a little harder!!! We babysit, dogsit, housesit, do anything but sit, till the weekend, when we sit in coffee shops maniacally typing to meet all of our deadlines, and applying for full-time work.
We do not sleep. We barely eat. We smile sweetly and vomit inside when people see us and say, “Hey, little adventurer! It looks like you’re having such a blast on Instagram. You’ve just been all over the place livin’ it up, huh?” We try to keep our bubbling up sermons on nepotism and wage wars and unpaid internships at bay. We know we still smell like sandwiches or butter, or whatever food service job we have worked for hours before forcing ourselves out to act human and “normal.” We know they don’t get it and are just trying to make polite conversation. So we lie. We answer their questions with enthusiasm and say, “Yeah! It’s so great. I’ve just been freelancing. Yeah, I’m still writing,” as if journalism and its related fields are the same as basket weaving and interpretive dance.
Sometimes we collapse on the ground, crying and heaving after a week of pure hustle and strain between all of the jobs that we work, and we weep into our pizza or tacos, giving ourselves one night of reprieve, to watch Tim and Eric, Pretty Little Liars, or some other mindless massage that puts the pain on hold for 45 minutes or so. We wake up on Saturday and say, “It’s a great day to get some work done!” And we run off to a wifi connection, and hop to it. We don’t have salaries or offices or fancy titles. So we hustle harder. And one day, we will win.
(Image is of journalist Lucy Morgan werrrrrkin’ it)
July always felt like, you know—summer hits and you fall in love and you fall out of love through all these crazy things. And then the Fall comes and September shows up and everything gets swept under the rug, and it’s as if nothing ever happened. And any real love that you had had or any real happiness or real sadness seems sort of naive.