By Jordan Fischer
The past year proved an improbable achievement for me in that I, unlike so many of my cohort and ambitions, could reasonably claim to have made my living as a writer. What an unlikely occupation for a 24-year-old, Midwestern boy hailing from a small town known mostly for the shrubbery inexplicably misplaced onto the courthouse roof.
Yet, without much argument, I get to be a writer, when by all rights I should be clinging to that title by some far more tenuous strand – much in the way I fancy myself an “intellectual” by virtue of all the documentaries on my Netflix queue. Or how I tell people I was a “varsity athlete,” conveniently leaving out that our swim team was just large enough to float a four-man relay squad.
It’s a spectacular way to pay for my caffeine addiction, writing. And because journalists’ brand of penmanship exists in some murky realm between the artistic and the professional, I get all the perks of being a quirky “creative” type while still having those oh-so-legitimizing trappings of the working-stiff: business cards, my very own desk and, you know, an income. That last part certainly satisfies an itch for stability that a stack of rejection letters and self-righteous indignation just can’t quite scratch (Although, by god, I’ll get one of those haikus published someday).
Whether or not I deserve any of the stroke of good luck I seem to have slipped into is a fair question, especially considering the tacit (and sometimes less-than-tacit) agreement between the public and the penman that provides journalists the opportunity to ply our trade. I imagine this must be how Justin Bieber feels as he lays awake at night, pondering what level of success and stardom his YouTube fans really hoped to propel him to, and what price he must pay in disconnection from them to reach those peaks (It’s worth noting that in my head, Justin Bieber is a resolute existentialist).
I’m not much one for New Year’s resolutions, mostly because they require effort to think up and that sounds hard. On the flip side, with a new year ahead of me, I find gratitude in no short supply. The greater portion of that must go to you, dear reader, for allowing me, and Current as a whole, to be a part of your community. And of course, at least some gratitude must go to my bosses who, by the way, actually paid me to write this column. Now, how improbable is that?