Friday, July 11, 2014

Going "Fourth"

My feet and I were having a competition as to who could stay awake the longest. After tucking myself into a pretzel and sitting as small as I could for an hour on the National Mall, my lids were drooping and my limbs were tingling. The carpet of grass beneath me—shag—was leaving cross patterns on my crossed legs.  I dared not leave my post to stretch though, lest the other shadowy figures in search of a spot steal it. It was nearing dark, after all, and the show was imminent. We were all waiting to see those “bombs bursting in air.”

Darkness finally descended. A moment later brilliance blasted the black back. The crowd let out a collective “ahhhhh” as if they were harmonizing to the atmosphere’s new hues. The Washington Monument pointed heavenward at the colored halos reaching out, then retracting. There were spectacular moments, and then there were lulls. Yet all the while our eyes looked on expectantly, eager for whatever came next.

It is the same with my internship. There are times when I feel planted in my place. I’m eager to stretch my skills and exercise my writing more, but find I must remain where I am. Then I remember that I sit in a coveted position.

Just when I begin to feel in the dark as to how I can contribute to the magazine, a new assignment will pop up. It just takes a small spark and then I’m re-enlightened as to why I chose to pursue journalism. I let out a silent “ah-ha” as my passion is affirmed. Boom! An interview wrangled. Boom! A small byline secured! Boom! My research recognized. Boom! Ideas pitched. Boom! A behind-the-scenes story discovered. Thus, journalism infuses its color into my days.

I needed to keep my chin up in order to see the fireworks on the Fourth. Going forth from that day with half of my internship left, I am resolved to keep my head high, even when there are lulls, because I don’t know what’s coming next. I have a renewed excitement in that suspense.

The Fourth of July display celebrated the freedom we enjoy. With my freedom, I look forward (and upward) to continuing my pursuit of happiness.

--Written by Sarah Barchus, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, AARP The Magazine
--Edited by Jane Claire Hervey, University of Texas at Austin, Reader's Digest

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