Les bons moments de la vie me font sourire ainsi que les souvenivs–Alexandre
I’m sitting at my desk, and I’m reading my yellow Journalism textbook for class. Portugal by Walk the Moon is playing, and I’m just itching to become something. Say something, write something. So I set my book aside, and start.
I think I’ve decided that I am a storyteller, and that’s my main drive for my fascination with journalism lately. I love listening to other people’s stories, and I like telling my own, clearly. And it was a few days ago that I’ve put a few puzzle pieces together. Perhaps it’s me reviewing my past and putting together favorable evidence, or perhaps its me noticing that I really think this is the thing for me.
I remember a year ago, or perhaps a year and a half ago, when I was taking my qualitative methods class, that at one moment, I was reading something, and all of a sudden everything felt right. Like, yes, this is what you are meant to do. Qualitative research resonates with how I understand people and their situations. It fits. At the time I thought it was an indication towards my field of anthropology, which I still love very much as well. But now I’m wondering if that also coincides with journalism, as enthnography and journalism can easily be mistaken for each other.
Then I think about my travel journal. Very few people know about it, but I like to collect thoughts from different people that I meet on my travels. I have one question that I ask, and I have it written in about 10 different languages, what makes you smile? And you’d be surprised by the range of responses I’ve gotten. From the flirty Florentine to the Danish women I talked with over tea one evening, there’s so much out there. So many stories worth knowing. I also find that wherever I go, despite my “don’t talk to me” body language, people will approach me and tell me their entire life story. Most times I’m confused as to why they want to tell a stranger their story line, but after I replay the conversation, I find that I enjoyed it, bizarre as it may be. From the crying drunken Norwegian girl who lost her yacht, to the Dutch man on the bus ride home telling me about how his son is a musical prodigy. These stories came to me unsolicited, but they are amusing nonetheless.
And then I think about my godmother Cyndi and the afternoon I spent with her when I was home this Christmas. She’s the best oral storyteller I know. The way she can capture my attention, however old I am, is a rare trait. I can just sit there, and listen. From telling me about how Ron, her husband, used to read me technical manuals when I was five, to how her youngest son broke up with a college girlfriend in Paris. He’s happily married now, but that breakup story still hurts, just a little. Cyndi said I might use it as inspiration for something…and she’s right. Losing a love in the City of Love, how romantically tragic, it deserves to be put into poetry.
I digress. What I’m trying to say, in a roundabout way, is that there are many forms of storytelling that I’d also like to explore. The written, and the verbal. Which is why I’m probably making a poor life choice by adding another project to my plate: a podcast. Mars and I have been toying with the idea for some time, but last night we finally sat down and did something about it. We have to pitch it to our school’s radio crew, but I’m excited to try it out, see if my verbal skills are as good as my written ones…good practice for Dublin.