On worry, the future and plans

I've had a lot of thoughts recently, and I figured there's no better place to sort them out than here.

As usual, I've been doing a lot of reading. And for every well-written blog post I read, I think to myself that I should probably start writing too. That "desire vs. motivation" thing kicked in.

My excuse for having other things to do has run out. I'm tired of worrying. I'm tired of thinking.

I'm majoring in journalism. Usually, I get responses like "Oh, that's so cool!" or "Wow, that's different." I've been fortunate enough to not be given the "Are you sure?" or "You must hate money" yet. Those who matter to me have been largely supportive. And for that I'm immensely grateful.

However, I'm not so blind to not know that the journalism profession isn't the most lucrative or secure field in the world. Trust me, I'm reminded of it every day. It's running joke in my college—in j-schools everywhere, no doubt. We all know it. We're all competing for the same jobs that we all know have little pay-off for the work we do. That's the nature of business. There are numbers, charts and graphs to prove it.

Journalists—at least the ones I follow—love preaching the doom and gloom of their own industry. And for good reason. As a young, aspiring journalist, I'll eat up every piece of advice I can get. But when I read an article that basically tells me, "Don't become a journalist," it's hard not to get a little depressed.

Then I read the other side of the coin, and I feel a little better. Granted, it doesn't even count as a work week if a journalist hasn't written a think-piece on the state of the industry.1

As the media industry undergoes dramatic changes to its formula, I believe the question every future journalist must ask him or herself is no longer "Why do I want to be a journalist?" Instead, I propose the challenge to ask, "What am I going to do about it?"

I can spend night after night questioning whether I want to be a journalist at all—doubting my motivation, my inspiration, my purpose, you name it. And trust me, I have. But those worries do me no good unless I've decided what I'm going to do about it.

And what am I going to do about it?

I'm not going to worry. I'm going to work as hard as I can to become the best I can be. I'm 20 years old. I have no idea where I'm going to be in 10 years, let alone 5 years. A lot can change. A lot can happen.

If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.

I pursue journalism because I believe it's my God-given purpose to tell stories that reflect his truth in every facet of life. I'm not concerned with the way the media industry is going, for better or worse. All I have to do is keep up and know that wherever I end up, it's going to be exactly where I'm supposed to be.

I have the audacious faith to believe that God will provide my every need, regardless of my circumstance. In the face of hardships, difficulties, a shrinking industry and competitive jobs, I will not falter. God's plan is bigger than the death of the newspaper. God's plan is bigger than my personal future.

And, honestly, he's taken care of me well beyond my expectations at this point. I know his plan is better than mine.

I'm just going to keep writing.

From one young journalist desperate for advice to another:

Strive for excellence and settle for nothing else. Write with conviction. Pursue the truth.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6.33-34

  1. This is my contribution.