What if I’m on the wrong path?

I will start this blog by saying that I hope that I don’t sound like a hypocrite here. I know how I preach about people with Moebius being able to do anything they want and being just as able, maybe more so than “normal” people. I am in no way wavering from that whatsoever. That is still my firm belief and I will not stop saying it. It is true and everyone with Moebius has to believe it.

This is just a personal dilemma for me and while it does stem from having Moebius, I think it is my self- confidence that is lacking here. I am wrestling with wondering if I am in the wrong program at school. I love journalism. The writing part of journalism. I hate the having to interview complete strangers, and I just don’t have the confidence to do it. For two of my classes we have to write news articles and obviously with writing news stories you have to interview people. That is one of the things that we are marked on.

I just like, physically can not bring myself to walk up to a random person and be like “hey can I interview you?”. Yes, it is the Moebius that causes speech to be hard to understand and yes that is why it is hard for me to interview people. But, having said that I know people with Moebius who are teachers, or who work in call centres. Conversing with people can be done, and they prove it on a daily basis. It’s my self confidence that is absolutely shattered.

I guess I didn’t really think about this before I got into this program. I just knew that I loved to write and that is why I chose it. I don’t want to do the newspaper reporter thing, that’s not my career path at all. I definitely feel like I should have done more research on the program before jumping blindly into it.

Please don’t think that I am complaining, although I know it sounds like I am. I like the program, the teachers and the people in my classes. I don’t have a quarrel with any of these things. It’s just the interviewing bit that is really setting me back. I have a paper due on Monday for my news research class. Obviously the biggest part of news research is interviewing people, For this paper it can basically be written on anything but we have to have at least one face to face interview along with two other interviews which can be phone, Facebook, etc. I am inclined to interview one of my friends or even my roommate but I feel like that defeats the purpose. The purpose is to get us used to interviewing people, is it not?

If you have read my blog from the beginning or even for the last few months, you’ll know that I have a thing about talking to people that I don’t know. Mostly on the phone is my issue, face to face is actually easier for me to do. However in this case, just walking up to a random person and being like “can I ask you a few questions?” and having them give me that blank look that I am all too familiar with is not how this is going to work. What can I do though? Make up interviews and names? I don’t think so. I sent all of my teachers an email and explained the Moebius and explained my trepidations with talking to people at the beginning of the school year. The thing is, I don’t want special treatment. I don’t want to email them every time I have to interview someone for a paper and be like “I can’t do it. I know the rest of the class has to but I can’t.” So I don’t know what to do. And you may say just do it. Just go up to someone and interview them, it’s not that hard. For me it is though. It’s a sensitive subject, really.

Like I said, I really don’t know what to do. How do I improve the situation? Do I email my instructors and tell them that I am struggling, yet again? I really don’t know.

And as far as that goes, as you all know from my blog post yesterday, I finally got my tattoo. I am so happy with it and happy that I got it. The tattoo artist guy was awesome and really nice. My friend came with me so that made it easier but I had that thing again where I didn’t say much to him for the fear that he wouldn’t understand. In case you can’t tell, this happens a lot. I want to be able to chat easily with people and have conversations about the weather and stupid things like that. I’m so freaking self conscious of the way that I talk, it’s impossible. Like, what do I do? Seriously. I have another tattoo appointment booked in two weeks and also a consult for another tattoo that I have a half idea for. Obviously I have to talk to the guy. What do I do? How do I ever get over this unrelenting fear of talking to people? Advice? Comments? Please do let me know!

As always, please feel free to comment and give me your thoughts, ideas, advice, whatever you want to say!

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4 thoughts on “What if I’m on the wrong path?

  1. You must do whatever you feel is the best thing to do. Would you like to learn how to operate cameras? You could be a camera operator in a TV newsroom. That might be fun! πŸ˜€ Or you could look into something else. But if you really want to be a journalist, you will find a way! πŸ˜€

  2. When I was much younger, I suffered from agoraphobia. The counselor I went to had me expose myself to situations little by little. Eventually, I was free from the fear.

    Maybe try to find a way to do that with conversing. For instance, decide ahead of time to start up a little chat about something. Maybe even practice in your head what you might say. Also, think ahead of time how to deal with someone not understanding you. Try to keep in mind that they probably feel just as awkward for not understanding you as you do for not being understood.

    (And no, I don’t think any of this would be easy. But maybe it could help a bit?)

    As for your education, a step back or a re-evaluation & change are not the same as quitting or failing. I think it was so brave of you to even attempt college with the concerns you have! Is there some kind of counselor who can help channel your strengths & talent into a more fitting career choice?

    I’ve hesitated to mention this, but I have a friend who has been a journalist for about 30 years or so. She says that, due to the free content people can get from the internet, journalism is a dying profession.

    The paper she works for has laid off so many reporters over the past few years, & now operates at a fraction of the staff they used to have. (Many newspapers have gone out of business.) The reporters who are left don’t have the time to do the in-depth reporting they used to do. Plus, they all have to post constant updates on Facebook & Twitter, & even make short little “Tout videos”.

    She loves her work, but fears for her future.

    BUT…the world still needs good journalists, so if you really believe that is your calling, keep pressing on. (But if you don’t, don’t feel bad for changing direction.)

  3. As an adult who also has Moebius I know that it can be tough Kelsey. I too get people who don’t understand me at times as well, but I think the secret lies in getting back up and trying again. Maybe you should just try and throw yourself into the deep end and have one little conversation a day with a random stranger in order to build your confidence. I once had to deal with a client who, when I first started speaking, thought I was a famous radio DJ who does telephone pranks here – and he thought I was the prank! Although I laughed it off I did feel a bit humiliated. But I had no choice but to carry on doing what I was doing.

    Maybe you should also think about approaching one of your professors and telling them about your problem. As you say, it isn’t part of the path you want to go down with journalism, so maybe they can think of an alternative solution.

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