Unintended Changes

11151421293_920e1a23be_cI started this blog under a different title and with a different purpose over 11 years ago.  Back then I was moving my life from Portugal to the Netherlands, writing about my travels and things happening in the world. Writing both for me as well as my friends and a few strangers who were crazy enough to read me.  My philosophy was write when I want, write often, and try to be creative.  It was, as always, personal, spontaneous, and honest.

Somewhere along the way things changed of course. As did my life. A neverending list of interesting adventures came my way and a changing outlook on my style of media and what I wanted to do here resulted in a podcast, a focus on what I call “under reported news”, and strangely enough – an attempt to look more professional or serious. I think that I realized I want this to be my career and I got busy trying to make it look like one.  Like so many things in life, keeping up appearances sometimes becomes as important (unfortunately) as the real heart and drive behind something. Want to be hired or funded? Put up a front like you’re an experienced pro and the world will believe you’re an experienced pro.

Happily, the experience part actually did happen as time went on, I’ve amassed a unique and fantastic collection of media producing experiences that I’m proud of and make me uniquely qualified in this world.  Uniquely qualified sounds more lucrative than it actually is, I still struggle every month to pay my bills and figure out how I’m going to make a living 3 months from now.  But that if we put aside that common problem many of us share, this work I’ve done has still led me in a really special direction.

What I do lament is how during this whole process I began to write less.  To over think everything out of fear of making a mistake or wasting my energy. This place was once an open canvas for working out ideas together with an audience. But in the name of looking professional and not appearing vulnerable, I shifted more towards publishing my weekly program and in between some first hand observations and notes from the field.

The point? Sometimes I miss the old days. I definitely miss writing without fear or certainty of what my point is. All this posturing as a media professional hasn’t brought me a stable or lucrative career. It may have earned me respect among the more conventional journalists out there. But I lost something essential about who I am and what i love to do.  That is to tell stories, to bring forward other people’s stories, and to increase understanding of who we are as humans in this world and how we could do that old cliché thing of making it a better world than it was before we each appeared on the scene.