Saturday, February 25, 2017

carless in LA.


Most people, when I tell them I don't plan to buy a car upon moving to Los Angeles, look at me like I'm crazy.

"You need a car," some say.

From another: "Enjoy having no social life."

Coming from New York City, where it was rare for someone to own a car, the comments don't surprise me. LA is a city built for cars. And while it isn't the most convenient thing to not have a car, I also believe in my abilities to survive on my own.

So it does bother me when people assume I'm either A) helpless, or B) naive. In the month I've been here, I've never asked someone for a ride (so even my own sister snarkily – I know, that's not a word – suggesting to people that I only use her for rides drives me crazy, though not totally surprising given her unconscious habit for putting me down in front of other people as a "joke") and have gotten from points A to B to C either on the Metro or with the push of a button on my Lyft app. The other night I was en route to the Metro to go home from a business dinner when one of my colleagues insisted he give me a ride because it was on his way home, and I tried to refuse because, at this point, I just want to be stubborn and prove people wrong: that I am actually a capable young adult who can figure out how to make her current situation work for her.

Yes, it'd be easier to buy a car. It probably wouldn't be cheaper than my current public transportation/Lyft combination, I can tell you that. I will say that I am a terrible driver, which adds to my desire to not put myself behind a wheel, so really it's just better for the whole city that I'm not driving.

Anyways, I just wanted to say that. And shout out to the handful of friends I have in this city who also don't have cars – y'all give me confidence to say ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ to the non-believers.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

burnt out.

I had about three posts half-written with the intention of having one ready to go for this week, but you'll have to allow me a brief pause this time around.



Thursday, February 16, 2017

stop asking your journalism students to interview working journalists.

Last year, I received an email from a journalism student who had an assignment in one of her classes to interview a working journalist. The email I received explained the assignment briefly, and then a list of 8 questions she had copied and pasted from the professor (I assumed they were copied and pasted because she didn't bother to remove the professor' notes on each question).

No request asking if I was available, no offer to speak by phone – oh, and her assignment was due Tuesday morning. I got this email on a Sunday night.


It's not that I don't like helping young journalists out. What I dislike is being asked to essentially complete an assignment for them. In this case, I wasn't even asked. It felt like a command or an obligation, like an expectation that I would fulfill.

In my career, I've done informational interviews with people, and I helped a student once with one of these interview assignments (it was a student who I knew because she interned at my company, she asked me well in advance for my help, and we spoke by phone). But the more and more I get these requests from students for their classes, the less inclined I've been to do them.

Again, not because I don't want to help, but for other reasons, which include a lack of time and also something that needs to be addressed with journalism instructors everywhere:

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

apologies.

I've been catching myself every day apologizing for things I don't really need to apologize for: opening a door when someone on the other side is trying to come in, or using the printer when someone else in the office also needs to use it.

It's a natural tendency to say, "I'm sorry" even if you technically don't have anything to be sorry about. I needed to go through that door and don't have X-ray vision. I deserve to use the printer as much as anyone else, and it wasn't like I had cut the queue.


One of the reasons I've been thinking about this lately is because I think some of that tendency to say "I'm sorry" all the time has spilled over into other areas of my life, leading me to apologize for other things: for asserting authority at work when people try to take advantage of my openness; for not bending over backwards 24/7 to be everyone else's cheerleader; for daring to set boundaries and not work all the time; for trying to practice this thing called "self care" people always talk about but I've never felt permitted to do because people always want something from me because of what I do for a living.

It took me awhile to pinpoint this as a problem. Obviously, apologies sometimes are necessary. But apologizing for taking up space in the world, which is what I've been doing the last few years, is a habit I'm trying to break.

Friday, February 3, 2017

some Qs to A.

I've never been private about my blogging, but that apparently seems to strike at people most. "How are you able to be so honest? Aren't you afraid people will read it?"

The answer is both "yes" and "no." Longtime friends will know the constant battle I go through of trying to figure out if I should be writing with an audience in mind or not. More often than not, this blog is a personal diary of babblings and freaking out. (Sometimes I'm told I say something insightful, which is nice.)

I figured I'd answer a few of those questions I get often about this blog, and blogging in general, because I've been terrible at actually having real, human conversations with people these days.

Q: Aren't you afraid of people reading your blog and judging you?
A: Yes, but I'm also afraid of people knowing me in real life and judging me. Or the barista at the coffee shop judging my order. Or the stranger on the subway judging my hat/scarf combo. Truthfully, social media has made it so it's quite easy to judge others without really knowing them or talking much to them. I still get nervous sometimes about hitting "publish" on posts, but I like to think of my blog as a place where I can just be 100% me. If people judge me for it, then OK.