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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

On Bad Days

written yesterday after a tough, tough day.




Today has not been an easy day. One of those days where you have to remind yourself, it only has 24 hours, even though each hour seems to hold a little more time.

One of those days where you are stunned by how crappy a tough series of events can really be.

My day started with working at the Las Vegas Sun. Writing and being surrounded by great people? I love it, truly. Breaking news and listening to police reports? Not so much.

And here is the hard part, my “tough” day would be someone’s dream day. Seeing your name published all over a news site, being the first to get some serious information, having cops, firefighters, and coroners, answer your calls and answer your questions?!  It could be a dream for some, right?

But when you are who I am, breaking news just breaks you. Every accident, every injury, every set of “bad news”, I feel for.

I’ve said it before: I’ve got a heart that can be molded, shaped, and left with people before I give it a say-so. I don’t half-way feel things, and I certainly like silver linings, happy endings, and hearing that despite the madness, the world is in good spirits.

I am the grand optimist. Pairing me with breaking news, is like telling me my best friend is going to be the darkest, most cynical, pessimistic individual. We don’t fit. I am definitely not buying that friend a charm bracelet for Christmas, or letting her braid my hair at sleepovers.

If you are like me, you avoid the news. I hear a few words and I continue on with my day, while my heart hurts for people I don’t even know. I have gotten past the point of worrying whether bad things will happen to me, instead I am permanently concerned about others. I just want people to know that darkness only last so long. That for some reason, we have all got to get hurt at some point. Wounds will heal, scars remind us we can survive.

Today, I reported on a toddler drowning in his family pool. A man found stabbed in North Vegas. A man shot in the back of the head for stealing a beer from 7-11. I went on my lunch break and found myself carefully staring at strangers. Wanting to save them from bad things that could possibly happen, wishing my job was being more of a superwoman than a journalist.

It’s not the bad news that gets to me, it’s the people. It’s knowing someone had to experience some pain. It’s knowing that despite the toddler that drowned, and people want to blame a parent, terrible accidents happen in the blink of an eye. It’s knowing that that mother, despite her fault, is irrecoverably wrecked. It’s knowing that these people, whether good or bad, whether others may say they “deserved” it or not, these people are brothers, sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers. These people had hopes, dreams, belief that they would see the next sunrise. Receive another hug, another day, another chance.

And it breaks my heart. It wrecks me, because I am not helping these people. I am simply giving people something to talk about.

You pay your dues as a journalist, I get that. There are crappy things happening, and sometimes you are on the other side of the keyboard writing it. I told my mom on the phone, “I’m not okay with people searching my name, and seeing that I wrote that.”

But I am okay with people searching my name and seeing this. My blog, my love, my life. I am okay with people knowing that while I have a hard time reporting that breaking news, it is only part of my job one day a week. What I need people to know about me is I don’t judge a single person. I know how easily blurred the line between “good” and “bad” can be. I know everyone’ story is so different, I know some people don’t know how to deal with hurt and confusion. I know that the world can be a cruel place, and bad things happen that just don’t make sense to anyone. Things happen that cause you to cry, cry until you are gasping for air, and grasping for something, anything to prove to you that this life is worth it.

And maybe that is why this is part of my job right now. Because you can bet I cried in my car after work. That I prayed hard for every family I had to write about today. You can bet that I am still emotionally raw from the things I heard.

But you know what? Life is still worth living. People are still worth trusting. Days are still worth rising with, and my heart is still hopeful for the future ahead.


We must remember everything, absolute everything is temporary. You’ve got to fight and love like you’ve never been hurt or heard the troubles of the world. People don’t need me to save them, or feel terrible for doing my job. They need me to love them. And if you are reading this, know that I do.

5 comments:

  1. Thank you for the reminder that everything is temporary. I tend to forget that, even though it's one of the most valuable things to remember. I don't know if I could handle writing about all the troubles in our world or if I could be a doctor and lose patients, or even a vet that would have to tell a family they'll lose their dog -- but I know that I'm happy there are people who are strong enough to do those things.

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  2. Oh, I completely understand where you're coming from. It's been hard on my heart to hear all the stories of conflict in the Middle East and the Michael Brown controversy lately, and I can't even imagine having to report on such tough stories. I wish you strength to help you get through all the heart-breaking things you have cover for your job.

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  3. You are so right, everything is temporary. This is a beautiful post, friend.

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  4. Oh my gosh, that aspect of the job would be really, really hard for me too. I think we've got similar empathetic hearts. It's an amazing blessing but it can be tough sometimes too. You're fabulous :)

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  5. Oh yes. This! I felt like this last week after the murder of Mr. Foley. I was just numb. I couldn't explain it, but I also couldn't get him out of my mind. I cried for him and the horror and pain he must have felt in his last moments.I cried for his family who had to live with that burden. I cried for the thousands of others like him, without prominent names and faces who have also met the same tragic end. I cried for countries where children grow up thinking that is normal. I cried for the adults who saw no way out for them and their families. I cried for our own country, who at times seems powerless and helpless to stop such brutality. I cried for the children here who starve at night and the parents who spend each day desperately trying to get food in their stomachs. I cried and cried and cried last week. I just felt so burdened, and yet so blessed.

    This post captures those feelings that I myself, couldn't find the words to properly write. So thank you for that.

    -Kate
    www.theflorkens.com

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