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So here’s the game plan: go through five more months of schooling, excel in everything and dabble in anything, work on The Great Thesis, pass all requirements, finish the yearbook and graduate, hopefully with flying, shining, shimmering rainbow colors.

Easier said than done, of course. Easier said objectively as well, sans all the melodramatic necessities of a change of phase (or is it pace?). Such is the life of a journalist: almost completely devoid of emotions, distant from any situation that may compromise the output.

But real life is not a news article. Far from it, actually. Real life has overnights, drinking sessions and partying in between. It has crying sessions, farewell letters, group hugs and bonding moments that seem like eulogies for the dead. It has all the sentimentality that goes with a Kimerald movie, no matter how cheesy or corny it may be. It has all these and more, not just a few one-paragraph sentences capped with the dreaded “30” or a sharp sharp in the end.

After this, everything changes. Change that doesn’t begin with Meanwhile, a 20-year old student of Mass Communication decides to leave school—for good. It is a change that shall prove pivotal to The Big Plan, that one that sets the course of one’s lifetime.

Times like these I wish life is exactly like a news article. Pointed lead, supporting details, sharp but almost unnecessary ending, which can always be skipped or cut off. A news article that represents the Voice of God, absent the occasional shifts in tone that give the piece a voice, an embodiment that supports its existence. I wish life were that disconnected, a life devoid of sentimentality over little things that tend to be over-exaggerated.

I wish I can skip the last part, that insignificant and unnecessary detail that signals the end of the article. I wish I can skip farewells, goodbye’s, adieu’s. I wish I could just go on and jump over that phase and move on with what comes after—the next article, the next headline, the great beyond, whatever is “out there” that isn’t extraterrestrial. I wish to be rid of all these emotions that seem to push all my buttons—emotions that tend to clutter the page, emotions that turn said into uttered, thought into ruminated, asked into inquired.

I am a journalist. I said that to myself two years ago, when before I thought I should rather be called a psychologist, one which says reinforcement can either be positive or negative; in any case, it still is a way of encouraging a certain behavior. But I am a journalist. A journalist who rather says that the police still hasn’t identified the motive behind the incident. Clear, direct, concise. Devoid of any feeling that may seep through and get in the way of getting the message across.

But even if I am a journalist, I’m still a human being. A human being that feels, that gets hurt, that experiences all these emotions plus more. So even if I put my game face on and tackle life as a chronicler of history, a life that is hard-pressed and competitive, the world couldn’t—wouldn’t—deprive me of the opportunities to examine, to question, to feel, to think, to analyze the things I’m going through. Even if it means putting little pieces of me between all these big and illustrious words.

And yet, and yet, the jump is but one hurdle to get through. What goes after? What goes next after the tears, the goodbye’s, the deep, pregnant sighs? What’s there to look forward to beyond the biting cold? (After Image, sometime within the ‘90s)

Do I become a journalist instantaneously? Do I jump right into the great snake pit that is the newsroom? Or do I dilly-dally my way through life, planning my steps, carefully measuring my walk and thinking two steps ahead? Then again, who really knows?

Sure, the allure of donning the glitz and glamour that is being a media man is, well, alluring. Just imagine the elusive Press ID, all those exclusive events, interviews with famous and important people… the feeling of being significant, sought-after, wanted—but not in a sinister kind of way. It’s all tempting. It’s there. It’s the Bright Red Apple to my existence in the Garden of Eden.

But the question is, do I take a bite and gain all that it has to offer?

And what of the moral principles I choose to hold on to? What of Press Freedom, of the Right to Information, of Ethics, of The Public’s Right To Know? Will it do me any good? Will it feed my mouth and those mouths I need or choose to feed? Will Utilitarianism, Humaneness, Balance, Fairness—will they bring me anywhere?

Once again, who knows, right? If I knew I definitely wouldn’t be asking all these questions.

I just wish there’s an easier way than this. I wish there’s a however, Mr. Tuazon refused to comment on the matter to this situation—a quick evasion, an escape route, a short cut. But there’s no evading these big questions in life. In a world where people tell you what to do, where to go, what to wear and who to talk to, the universe conspires and turns the spotlight on you. The journalist becomes the news, and the universe asks the questions:

So, Mr. Tuazon, after all the things you had to go through, what’s next for the man who did a little too much?

I know I don’t know right now. But I know I’ll find the answer in the next great story I’m pursuing: life.

*Photo from cartoonstock.com


One Response to “Exit Strategy”
  1. jerome says:

    well said, Mr Tuazon! =) i suggest, send this to youngblood – fits the trail of article i’ve been reading there for the past weeks. God bless!

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