The best is yet to come (maybe)
There’s a movie I love called Brooklyn’s Finest.
It basically shows three cops in the aforementioned New York borough dealing with crime in their own way.
One of the cops is a veteran of the force who, despite a 20-plus-year career, has never done anything.
He hasn’t had any big arrests, he hasn’t moved up the force from being a ‘regular’ street-patrolling, uniform policeman, and he pretty much is just counting down the days to retirement.
Recently, the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) held its annual awards. Congratulations to all who won something. I like to see people get rewarded for the work that they do.
But somewhere along viewing the timelines of the various social media users who covered the event, it dawned on me, as I read the list of winners, that I’ve never submitted anything to be considered for nomination.
That’s kinda lame considering this is the only profession I’ve known so far – all of 17 years.
To make matters worse, this noble profession is what I studied at university. I’m pretty certain that years ago, when I was finishing up my first degree, and especially after I started working, I envisioned winning awards for journalism.
That hasn’t happened. And my introspection got worse. As part of the annual PAJ festivities, veterans were also honoured.
I recognised the names this year and I started wondering again, would the journalists of 30 years from now know who the heck I was?
I remember one evening, years ago, when members of the desk I was attached to at the time were treated to dinner.
One of the gracious hosts asked those of us who were at her table what’s the story we’re most proud of writing. I didn’t have an answer.
I’m sure there had to have been one that I felt really good about, but I just couldn’t come up with anything.
Since then, there have been a story or two that might perk me up a bit, but nothing that I felt was worthy of any adoration from an esteemed panel of judges.
That kinda sums up my career, I feel. I look back at some stories I wrote and I cringe. I remember pretty much all the mistakes I’ve made, get even more annoyed at the recent ones. Lately, there’s also a growing feeling that I’m fighting a never-ending and unwinnable battle at trying to please the core audience who I need to get to in order to sell newspapers.
So why stick with it? That’s a good question. I think the answer is somewhere between it’s all I’m ‘good’ at and you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
Or maybe like the old cop in the movie, I’ll finally get that big headliner when I’m a bit longer in the tooth.
Think we all get to that crossroads in life at some point. Where you head next is highly dependent on your mindset and the counsel you take from those around you.
Listen keenly and decide wisely. Think I’ll take my own advice. Who knows? There may be a prize-winning story in my keyboard after all.
Link me at firstname.lastname@example.org.