Journalism, Ohio University, Photography

A different outlook for 2012

I got the chance to take my camera out just for fun a couple days back. Here's a shot from the steps on South Green looking up Morton Hill.

I’m sitting here on my couch with the sun peeking in through my open window and guitar riffs wafting through my computer speakers. A slight breeze rolls on over my shoulder and the thought that my work for the weekend is done is equally as fulfilling as the fact that I’m getting the chance to write just for me again.

Yes, life is good.

I’ve found that it’s so easy to get caught up in it all. Slipping into a routine — the monotonous, endless stream of reading, writing and repeating — is the easiest way to make it through the week.

The first half of this quarter has already been better than my first 10 weeks in Athens. It’s not necessarily because I’m writing about more interesting things (which I am), doing better in school (only one grade lower than an A, baby!), or finding my niche (which I think I’m slowly coming around to). It’s because of this little thing that falls by the wayside when things get tough.

I’m having a ton of fun.

I’m slowly coming to the realization that life is too short to get caught up in the thick of it all. It’s too short to become a statistic, give way to norms and blend in.

As students, we come to school with the intention of learning the skills necessary to do the things we see our idols doing. I had such a clear life path set out when I came to school. I thought that I needed to stick my nose in a newspaper every night, that I needed a specialization right away and I always had to be “plugged in”. Since, I have decided to scrap pretty much that whole thing and fend for myself. Part of learning is learning yourself and what makes “you” tick.

I’ve learned that to do any sort of “ticking” other than watching the clock do just that for hours a day I need to have something to look forward to each week. Some weeks, that thing may be a big story that will hit the paper Thursday. Other times it might be a test that I know I’ll rock out Friday afternoon.

But a lot of times that doesn’t do it. Sometimes I need to go blow off some steam, stay up an extra couple hours just to chill or just do my own thing — whatever that may be.

Even if it is going to see that country band that most of my friends made fun of…. sometimes it takes singing along to a song or two about dirt roads and open spaces when brick buildings and puddles aren’t doing it for you.

It might be playing broomball at 12:45 p.m. every Wednesday just because it seems like a good idea. Or walking around with my camera when I should be spending time with my history book. You get my drift.

This quarter is better than the last one because I feel like I’m finding the voice that I’ve been looking for here now for a while. In the past, that voice was the equivalent of a bunch of gibberish — or something I copied from someone because I thought it was right.

I’ve been saying and writing for a while that I have been trying to find what sets me aside from the pack, both as a person and a storyteller. My realization is that you don’t have to go out in search of some piece of information that brings everything full-circle for you — it’ll fall on your doorstep eventually.

When I have time off, I’m going to chill. When I need to have fun, I’m going to spice things up. When I need to sit and relax, I’ll flip my iTunes on shuffle and do my own thing. The routine — or lack thereof — I’ve got going on now is working awesomely for me.

I bet I wouldn’t have put awesomely in a post six months ago.

I’ve received a lot of great advice over the past year or so. There’s a lot of it that I’ll never forget and take into consideration every day.

At the end of last quarter, I questioned a friend on what I should learn during my winter quarter, as I wasn’t planning on taking a journalism class (of course I ended up in one anyway).

He told me that I shouldn’t worry about learning a single thing aside from my general education classes. I told him that he was full of crap and that I needed to be learning something journalistic to keep ahead of the curve. Looking back, though, he was right.

By doing my own thing, all the other things are falling into place.

In conclusion, I have a Super Bowl party to go to.

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4 thoughts on “A different outlook for 2012

  1. I’m sorry we mocked your country concert, jimbo! 🙂 I’m proud of you for all this stuff. Very good outlook.

    Posted by kristinsalaky | February 5, 2012, 8:06 pm
  2. Well done sir.

    Posted by Dylan | February 6, 2012, 1:21 pm

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My name is Jim Ryan, and I'm a breaking news reporter for The Oregonian and OregonLive in Portland. I'm an Ohio University graduate from Gaylord, Michigan.

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