I’m tired tonight.

My legs hurt. I smell like a restaurant. My own nice-but-mechanical phrases are ringing in my head. Thanks for coming to see us, sir. Did you enjoy your meal today, sir? Are you finding everything okay? 

My collar’s been blue since I was 15. I’ve changed diapers, flipped burgers, stumbled into bed after night shifts. I’ve never really minded it.

So why am I so tired of it now?

I think it’s because I’ve always known what I wanted to do with my life, but I’ve never been as sure as I am now. Chasing down sources for interviews, staying up until 3 a.m. editing, spending hours on a single Twitter list — it’s work, but it has never felt like it.

I’m ready for that. Ready to do journalism every day. Ready to be done waiting.

I’m sick of scribbling story ideas on extra receipt paper.

But if that’s my logic — that I love journalism so much that I’m willing to work for it, willing to be exhausted for it — there’s something else I need to remember.

Every time I clock out and zombie-drive home and collapse onto the couch…

Every time I pencil in the last answer on a test…

Every time I scrape together another rent payment and cross another 30th or 31st off my list…

…I’m one step closer.

I love journalism enough to work for it?

Well, this is working for it too.

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