The Most Fulfilling Job in the World

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Inside the former mansion of Oshawa's most famous resident this morning.
Inside the former mansion of Oshawa’s most famous resident this morning.

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A vlog from last month, but still very much relevant to what I wrote about here.

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Joel’s Journal - Entry #129 - 3/8/2017

As much as I was excited for the day, I still dreaded those few seconds of transition from horizontal warmth in bed, to vertical action.

I don’t remember ever having that feeling as a kid, maybe there’s just more to pick-up as you grow older, more weight to heft onto your feet and shoulders, both physically and mentally.

Regardless, once I was up, moving, the feeling was gone, shed like a dirty piece of clothing.

I set the coffee on, same as most mornings, checked social media, news, emails, all the same as most mornings. I poured my first cup of caffeine and took my first sip when it was still way too hot, exactly the same as most mornings. 

I grabbed my manuscript from the desk and returned to the kitchen table. With one hand I spooned Honey Nut Cheerios into my mouth, with the other I flipped open the file and started to read.

There wasn’t much time before I needed to get moving, showered, clothed, and so on, but I knew I could at least get a couple pages edited before getting started. I did just that.

The sun was shining through the bay window as I pulled on my denim coat and tied my boots. It was warm outside and it looked like spring. Whether it’s the pressure change or just a change in the light, the world seems different, more at ease; the trees less tense, the branches happier, like they’ve breathed a sigh of relief after surviving another winter.

I take a deep breath of my own and step outside.

The day that follows in three words: historical, adorable, political.

I started at one of the most famous houses in the Greater Toronto Area. Parkwood Estates (the former home of auto giant Colonel Sam McLaughlin) has been the set of X-Men, Billy Madison and countless other movies over the years. It sits just outside of Oshawa’s downtown core. The foundation that runs it and the historical society were launching a new history initiative focused on women to coincide with International Women’s Day.

It was my first time inside the grandiose estate and it was a pretty grandiose way to start the day.

My afternoon consisted of a stop at Starbucks, but not specifically for coffee (though I did enjoy a nice flat-white). This was to photograph one of Oshawa’s Animal Services pets up for adoption as he visited the cafe for a secret item on the menu; a puppaccino.

It’s essentially a cup filled with whipped cream, but it made for some awesome photos to help showcase the good cause of adopting pets.

Finally, the evening was something a little more serious as I picked up the phone and dialled into a conference call. It was after 5 p.m. and the office was quiet. My notebook was beside me with a few scrawled questions, my laptop was open detailing some of the finer points of the recently launched Liberal plan to reduce hydro rates.

I listened to her preamble, then had my chance to interview Premier Kathleen Wynne.

When that was done, I had a few minutes to catch my breath, pack my bags and head off to meet M at the theatre. We arrived in separate cars, and I pulled up first. So, when she pulled in and made her way to the door, I watched from my car, smiling at the way her hair blew in the strong wind and how I could see the fine line of her cheekbones I like so much.

We saw Get Out, and yes, it’s as good as all the critics are saying it is.

Let’s get back to this day though.

It’s a lesson in why I love being a reporter, and it’s lesson for any aspiring journalists who are perhaps doubting getting into the field based on the talk that print is dead and all this noise about “fake news” and “alternative facts.”

Sure, trying to look at the state of journalism today from such a high level can be daunting, but when you get a little closer, it changes. Get right in there with the day to day, and the exciting things that reporters get to do, and the fun that can be had in this career, it’s an obvious choice. This is one of the most fulfilling jobs in the world.

It allows me to do what I love, and do it well on a daily basis, I hope you’re doing the same.

Thanks for reading,

J.J.W.

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