Come What May
Published: April 17th, 2014
By: Shawn Magrath

When I sat down to write this column, I was staring at a blank computer screen and a full cup of coffee. I had a feeling of ambition. I felt I could burn up the keyboard writing the next great American novel. I was ready to go.

Unfortunately, as is usually the case when I begin my column, the screen was still blank long after my cup was emptied, refilled, and emptied again.

Call it writer’s block. Long hours of staring at a white screen, waiting for the hand of God to slap me upside the head in what most refer to as “divine inspiration.” Speaking as someone whose job is to help fill the pages of a newspaper, writer’s block is a more than just a minor inconvenience. It’s a circumstance made more stressful with every mocking flash of that little blinking curser at the top of the page.

It wasn’t until I started writing something – anything – that I realized… writing a provoking weekly opinion piece wasn’t part of my original job description. Being someone who’s naturally objective and not overly passionate when it comes to controversial issues, I can safely say opinion writing was never really my forte.

Nevertheless, I am a reporter; and as a reporter, using my knowledge of local topics to provide insight and opinions on controversial issues is one of my obligated duties, is it not? I would like to think so.

But the truth is, I haven’t always wanted to be a reporter. Ten years ago, I started college with dreams of one day earning my doctorate degree in physical therapy. I need not say what a bad career choice that is for someone who never excelled in the physical sciences. After falling vastly short of wowing my professors with mediocrity (and accidentally breaking three crucibles and a Bunsen burner in the chemistry lab) I changed my major.

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That’s when I decided to pursue an English degree. Of course knowing what few opportunities exist for an English major, I decided to major in education as well. Now, just months away from having a master's degree in educational technology, I'm not convinced I'm really passionate about teaching either.

Life's funny like that. I could say it's not fair; but then again, I don't know anyone who gets exactly what they thought they were going to get.

So maybe it's time to consider new career opportunities; ones that don't involve writing a weekly opinion piece. Time to update my resume, dust off that “Marketing for Dummies” book, and think of ways to sell myself. Let's see, I generally consider myself upbeat with a sense of attentiveness and a dry sense of humor... Perhaps a new career in daytime television. I think I would fit nicely as Barbara Walter's replacement on “The View.”

In the long run, I suppose it doesn't really matter. Like I said, no one I know gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. So maybe it's best just to adapt – to go with the flow, come what may. And by the time you realize this column was just to fill the pages of a newspaper, a new opportunity might have come along for you too.

I'll see you on “The View.”

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... @evesunShawn