I love words.
I fell in love with them before I loved people.
The first thing I ever felt fervor for was speech, hearing the gibberish that was music and words, but that was infatuation.
My first true love was the creation of a word out of movement and force on paper. One of my greatest memories is tapping the keys of an old Royal typewriter and watching the ink dry, listening to the consistency of the keys as they responded noisily to my fingers, and watching as words were creating as if by magic on the white sheet.
I knew I was going to be a writer before I could be certain of anything else. People spend decades searching for a voice, mine comes with a rhythm, bouncy and jaunty like my Trinidadian accent, at times rough and unrefined but always brash and as confident.
I didn’t know I would be a journalist until later. I recall hearing it mentioned by an older cousin. He often commented on my obsession with doggedly asking questions, repeating myself until my interviewee answered. I was a tenacious bulldog. Grrr! I spent a lot of time watching CNN, then watching Francesca Hawkins and Carla Foderingham, and wanting to find the news that they would read.
I was not yet five years old at the time. My confidence then was unshakable, my fear nonexistent.
On some days, in recent memory, my fear has been overwhelming and my desire to enter social situations underwhelming.
My anxiety, which I had control of for many years has resurfaced.
Gah! A journalist with an anxiety disorder. How does that work? I’m terrified of specific types of social situations. I run away from intense positive emotion directed toward me (Too much admiration makes me uncomfortable and force a retreat into hermit mode) and my heart speeds when I’m intimidated.
Yet I’m in a job that requires me to interact with hundreds of people each month, to care deeply about the world and people around me and to enter into diverse types of social climates.
And in a world that feels like a constant threat, journalism is my safety zone. The search for truth and understanding is my armor that protects me from danger.
I do other things. I run often, hit the gym to trick my body into exhaustion with the hope that my mind takes the hint. I cook, attempt to bake occasionally, take road trips, all for the sake of peace.
Fortunately, I’m never intimated by authority figures, (like any good journalist my inherent distrust of them keeps me grounded) I’ve developed a deep compassion for human suffering and pray that my work can help even in some small way to alleviate that suffering, and nothing calms me quite as much as writing. It is my great love and my medicine.
So I’ve started this blog and there are two goals.
- To share my life as a journalist and a radio announcer.
- To share the effects my anxiety has on that life.
I’ll write about other things; a recipe here or there, a book review or a short story.
Thank you for reading,