If you’d asked me in high school what I wanted to do after I finished, my list of possible career paths would’ve included fashion design, forensic sciences or media… the very last resort being running off into the sunset with a really wealthy Italian man for a career as a housewife. My love for storytelling has never died down, even when my dreams of what I wanted to become changed.
Towards the end of my high school career, I knew for certain that the media industry was for me, even though my options had boiled down to PR or journalism. In my first year of college, journalism humbled me. For my very first assignment (which I redid and passed on the second attempt), I’d gotten a 36% for my efforts. Not only did this shatter my writing dreams, but it made me realise that journalism wasn’t for me (PR was a mess too—late nights, loads of reading…).
When I think of purpose, especially regarding destiny, if you’ll allow me to be that deep, I think of ease. I discovered in the middle of my confusion about my future, that I was passing my radio production module without as much as trying. This was a module I always left for the last minute yet always came back with colourful results. In my second year of college, after falling in love with this path, I chose radio production as my major and there began my dreams of going to work at some top radio station in my dream car to read the news or possibly host a show, with a grande cup of Starbucks chai and my MacBook in my hands and a pep in my step as I scanned my entrance card to the building I’d be working at. I finally knew what I was going to do with my life and my mom was much happier about that than I was.
My first time behind a microphone happened this past June during my Experiential Learning assignment over my college break—it was basically volunteer work. We were required to do 2 weeks of real-life work at media companies of our choices and I went and knocked on the door of my community radio station. I got to read the news in my mother-tongue in front of a live audience—I just jumped in—and boy, was it scary.
You’d think that something like this would’ve scared me off. I’d always been a bit in-my-shell and never in my life had I ever imagined I’d be putting my reading skills to good use outside of a classroom for presentation purposes. This experience alone taught me dedication and hard work, and despite my social life going extinct during that time, the little time I got to sit and eat or the fact that I only got home in time for dinner and bed, only to start the process over from really early the next morning, I was in love. I wanted to learn more of my mother-tongue so I’d be perfect the next time I sat behind a mic to read news in Setswana; I wanted to show up at 9am at the station, just to observe and do a bit of prepping for my 3pm slot. I could picture myself embodying my inner media personality and I could picture nothing else; all my other dreams at that point—becoming an author and having my own clothing line—became future side-jobs. This is the love of my life and I got to live it in the real world for two weeks.
After that period, a new college semester began and, as if the Universe figured I needed a bit more of a passion boost, my current radio production assignment is a 10 week long group project which requires us to create a 3 hour show every week for marks. My news reading skills which had been put on blast last semester during my Sound Engineering classes resulted in me being unanimously voted news broadcaster by my group. I thought the whole experience of finding news and translating it to my mother-tongue was hard work until this week began and I got one-on-one guidance from someone with broadcast experience from one of our major radio stations…
My radio production lecturer made it his personal mission to push me to the point of exhaustion. This past week, I learned how to gather news from more than one source to create my own bulletin from scratch, I learned how to properly lay out my bulletin and present it with a hint of my personality, and I learned that this is a burning passion within me, especially when my lecturer who’s been in the industry for decades told me that he could see me doing this for real.
After weeks of feeling down in general, this was exactly what I needed to find my happiness again; that’s why I thought to share this post. It’s mainly to remind me, when I feel down or lost, that this is my path. It’s as easy as breathing to me, and even though the workload stresses me and sometimes I do horribly behind the mic and I second-guess if I’m not just a good reader, this is to remind me that I have a dream and this is how much I desire its manifestation. This was my rainbow after the craziness that was July; this is my purpose.
This new moon, I’ll probably make a career vision board for 2020 in which I’ll find a way to badly photoshop myself into one of the studios at my favourite local radio station. We’ll see how it manifests in the new year. I can tell you now that the thought of linking this blog post to one in 2020 titled something like ‘Major Manifestation: I Got The Job’ is already brightening my day even more.
For When Lydia Smiles, this is Lydia Marumo with a random blog post on my excitement about my life right now and my dreams for my future in radio broadcast.