Why I’m here
by Victor Paul Alvarez
After asking why I don’t have a blog, an old friend said:
“I’ve been reading writer’s websites and blogs lately and they all sound so fucking in love with themselves. I bet yours would be a perfect blend of humor and poetry.”
That’s a tall order.
This year I was laid off from the newspaper company where I spent a decade of my life. I landed on my feet with a decent freelance career. I write what I want (mostly) and enjoy the freedom (always). It’s not where I thought I’d be at this point. I was a teenager the first time someone paid me to write a story. I had a gig as a copy boy at a great American newspaper. It was clear to me that if I worked hard and embellished the bit of talent I was given that I could work in newspapers for the rest of my life. I could travel the country – the world – with a reporter’s notebook in my back pocket. That reporter’s notebook would be my ticket to talk to anyone, ask whatever questions I wanted, and maybe learn a little bit about the world that I’d never discover in the back yard of my childhood home in suburban Maryland.
It was my version of the American dream and, as a teenager, I realized how lucky I was to have found my calling.
My generation may have been the last to believe in that dream. Even as I was leaving college to take my first job at The Providence Journal in 1995, the Internet was coming out of the shadows with a desire to give away for free the things we once thought important enough to buy.
That may be the true legacy of me and my fellow Gen X crew – we were young enough to see the Internet take over but old enough to know intimately what it destroyed.