Corn Fields in Rear View Mirror

Future journalist finds inspiration, healing in writing

 By Jacqueline Strunc

 I have been staring at my computer screen trying to write this for the past hour and a half. My anxiety has me in a chokehold as I struggle to define and describe myself in a creative and interesting way. So I guess I'll start with the honest facts. I am unbearably awkward. Not in the cute, quirky, Zooey Deschanel way but in the annoying, intolerable, as appealing as a banana peel way. I sprang up from the cornfields of a small town in Wisconsin, my confidence is sub-par at best, my insecurities sometimes beat me to a bloody pulp, and I am what feels like light years away from becoming the person I want to be. I chose journalism to help me fix those things about myself. I chose it because when I discover a great band or learn about an exciting opportunity to help the environment, I want to share it with people in the only way I really know how. Writing. My goal is to find a job that allows me to both create a future with my lifelong passion for writing and my drive to leave this world just a little better than it was when I found it.

The only things that have ever made me feel alive are writing and music. My two favorite books are The Great Gatsby and Zoo or Letters Not About Love. My ears are obsessed with The Cure and anything Andrew McMahon. I want to write because of how a great book can make you feel. I want to write because of the epic insight you get after finishing a book that keeps your mind both content and chaotic. I want to write because of that twinge of recognition that comes from reading a great poem or discovering beyond true song lyrics. I want to write because whether it is pain or pleasure, happiness or sadness, despair or elation, reading and writing—if it is good enough—can make you feel.

Poetry and novels are my main two passions but I am also a realist and basing a career solely on those two pursuits is naïve and frankly, unattainable.Journalism will satisfy the massive part of me that takes the straight up rage I feel with the current state of the world and turns it into hope and productivity. I never want to settle. I want to push myself to be better and I want to help the world be better. Somehow. I believe journalism will open doors for me and force me to stop being the insecure, awkward, country girl I am now.  Each day I take steps to be more informed and more proactive with my future.

I try to keep up with current events through online news websites and I follow CNN and the Huffington Post on Twitter. I love to learn and I am nothing if not resilient. I had a rocky upbringing and while it may have discouraged others, it made me reach for more. It compels me to keep pushing forward. Journalism is supposed to be about honesty and it is supposed to cut out the bullshit and I guess I need more honesty and less bullshit in my life.

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