miércoles, septiembre 15, 2004

The love of my life

The love of my life? If I still were in my 20´s or my 30´s, I would say that it was my job.
Being a journalist meant the world to me. I remember when I was still in high school and one of my teachers asked me what was the most important thing to me. I answered, without hesitation, “becoming a journalist”.
And later, as a college freshman, I registered for a seminar about script writing, which was only available to a few students after an interview.
When I was interviewed, the teacher asked me why I wanted to enroll in the seminar. I told him that I wanted to become a journalist. He laughed discreetly and said sweetly, “but, you should know that this seminar won't help you become a journalist...” I answered that I was convinced it would. I was accepted.
Later on, after obtaining a Master's Degree in Journalism at Columbia University, I got a temporary job as an editor and translator for the Latin American Desk at The Associated Press.
A year or so went by and I was selected to move on to the AP's New York City desk.
I got the job, basically, because I was a Latina woman, and the AP wanted to settle a dispute it had with the Federal Government for discriminating against minorities. The fact that I could also write fairly well in English helped.
Shortly after my transfer to the AP's City desk, I was offered a job at CBS, as a reporter based in one of its Connecticut offices. The salary was twice what I was making. But I decided that at the AP I would learn how to write succinctly, so I stayed.
Until a few years ago, my life as a journalist has been the most important aspect of my life. My personal life (relationships et al) were secondary to that.
But, after I published my first novel in the late 90´s, journalism became a second priority. I wanted to be a novelist.
The change hasn´t been that easy. Even if I have finished a second novel (which has yet to be published), I had to go back to working as a journalist, an editor, a translator and, lately, as a press coordinator for different organizations.
Until recently, my personal relationships were never a priority. I had an eight-year-long relationship that was like a marriage, but shorly after it ended, I met somebody else (a foreign correspondent -- a journalist like me...) and we got married.
The marriage didn´t last very long, but the relationship has. Yes, he is still in my life and is without a doubt my best friend in the whole world, even if he is happily married and a has a three-year old son. And yes, my relationship to him changed me a great deal. I learnt that ex-wives and ex-husbands can be friends, and friends forever.

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