I love the first few moments of a new experience, the first few pages of a new book, the first few bites of a new dish. I like the hesitancy and awkwardness when you begin to draw back the curtain on the life of a new chapter, friend or lover.
My first week as a marketing intern for the Atlantic Media Company has been incredible – full of hopes and frustrations, revealing thoughts and attitudes I didn’t know I had, and fueling dreams that pull me in opposing directions.
I have yet to dive into the work itself, but we have had amazing lectures by David Bradley, Andrew Sullivan, and James Fallows.
David Bradley’s humility belies his importance in the publishing arena. He is a testament to a life lived after youthful dreams have been thwarted, a life made great when chance has left it without recourse. He is inspiring, and I am happy to be part of his vision for the next six months.
Andrew Sullivan lives by the aphorism “I’m interested in what’s interesting.” He has discovered the power of blogging and his contribution to the moment is vital.
In James Fallows I found a kindred spirit. He spoke briefly on the history of journalism in America: the early days of partisan papers, the post-Civil War days of an objective press, and the current system of niche markets that specialize in narrow interests. I can’t wait to get his book Breaking the News to get the juicy details.
He is a big proponent of living abroad, which speaks to my desire to put my passport to good use. (e.g. International House-Santiago is hiring.) And he provided a hopeful outlook for those of us wanting to make our career in journalism.
My insight of the week (thanks, Dad!): I am stripping the importance out of my age. I have always loved getting older – feeling like life opens itself up to me as the years pass. But the past few months I have felt like time is running out on several of my dreams. In truth though, life is incredibly long with enough time to do everything I want. It is also incredibly short and I can’t waste a single moment in half measures. Whether I die in two months or sixty years, I don’t want that to change the way I live today.
So, I’m going to give the internship a chance to work. But if it doesn’t, I will make my life great. This is going to be a very important season, and I’m thrilled to be in the middle of it.