Happy anniversary to me.
Alright, that might be way over the top, as I wouldn’t really consider myself to be the type of person who gets worked up about anniversaries and the like. Heck, if it wasn’t for Facebook, I probably wouldn’t remember most of my friends’ birthdays.
As I sat down to write this, however, I glanced over at my calendar and it dawned on me that at this time a year ago (give or take a week) I was writing my introductory column for the Airdrie City View.
I can’t quite recall what I wrote, but I keep hearing the words, “plans and expectations” in my mind. Such is the case when starting any new venture, it’s common to have a set of expectations in mind and goals you want to achieve.
Have I reached those goals and met my own expectations? Hard to say, because, again, my memory is a little foggy as to what my exact words were.
What I have learned though as I look back on the last year, is that expectations are a tricky thing; none of us have a crystal ball and to expect something either denotes an air of entitlement or some kind of extrasensory, remote viewing ability.
Did I expect to be covering one of the worst floods southern Alberta has seen in decades within a month of my arrival in Airdrie? Did I expect, that as a news reporter I would be covering a rodeo, having never even been to a rodeo? Did I expect that a brutally long winter, complete with record snowfalls would have me writing about snow clearing for weeks at a time?
The answer of course is no to all of the above, but it illustrates my point that in the news, and the role of a journalist can, in many ways, be a microcosm of life in that there are always going to be curveballs and you have to learn to roll with the punches and manage expectations accordingly.
“Adapt or die”is a quote I think I read once. Might be a bit dramatic, as I’m not sure I’ve ever read about a journalist dying because he/she was unable to write a story.
I’m getting off topic, I’ll save the whole Darwinism spiel for another time, or at least I expect that I will, who knows what might happen.
What I was trying to get at is managing expectations, or in some cases just don’t have any at all. This may be coming off as somewhat cynical, and by no means am I trying to allude to the point of, “expectations are dumb and things will never work out how you want them to,” because I do firmly believe that if you want something bad enough and are willing to work for it, the possibilities are nearly limitless.
This is coming more from a place of I had no idea what to expect when I arrived in Airdrie, and despite that, things have still worked out in ways I would never have imagined.
I’ve never been a fan of the question in job interviews, “where do you see yourself in five years?” because who am I answer that question?
If you had asked me that question five years ago, there is absolutely zero chance I would have answered, “living in Airdrie, Alberta for a year, a city that I arrived in after driving 1,700 kilometres from Thompson, Manitoba, where I’d worked for the previous two years.”
My only expectation that I really have for myself (work-wise) is to try to keep getting better at this job every day and see where that takes me.
I’ll be sure to look back at this column a year from now and see if I’ve lived up to my word.