I’ve looked at love from both sides now
From give and take, and still, somehow,
It’s love’s illusions I recall;
I really don’t know love at all.
Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say, ‘I love you’ right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I’ve looked at life that way
But now old friends are acting strange;
They shake their heads and say I’ve changed.
Well, something’s lost when something’s gained
In living every day
I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose, and still, somehow,
It’s life’s illusions I recall;
I really don’t know life at all
– Joni Mitchell
Once again, I find Joni Mitchell’s masterpiece resonating for me in a new way.
This week on Facebook, a friend posted a link to some website’s ranking of 200 careers. This website — employing methods of data analysis almost as credible as those used to measure progress under No Child Left Behind — attempted to quantify the “best” and “worst” jobs of 2013 and declared newspaper reporter the worst.*
Most of the people weighing in on the conversation were disgruntled journalists who agreed they had the Worst Job in the World. I read their comments and wondered why, in an era of shrinking budgets and shrinking newsroom staffs, anyone would remain in a job where he or she felt overworked and underappreciated.
Actually, I didn’t wonder. I knew, because years ago, I was the same way. Instead of savoring the moments that make journalism the best job in the world, I let myself get caught up in negativity and focused on day-to-day annoyances and frustrations, forgetting that hassles are part of the human condition.
I really didn’t know love at all.
I don’t take my life as a journalist for granted these days. I’ve been through my share of “tears and fears,” and after five years away, I look at my profession and feel unbelievably “proud to say, ‘I love you’ right out loud.”
Old friends reading this probably will “shake their heads and say I’ve changed.” I don’t care. I’m not interested in something that’s lost. I’m too busy savoring something that’s gained.
* I had to laugh when I saw “stress” cited as one justification for the low ranking. I’ve taught in two urban high schools, and if the toughest part of your job is a deadline, you really don’t know stress at all.