Looking back to move forward Print
Youth Column
Written by Erick Rommel, Catholic News Service   
Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 -- 12:00 AM

I didn't go to school to become a writer. Writing is something I enjoyed, but it wasn't something I imagined as a career.

When I was in college, I dreamed of becoming a television news producer. To me, it represented everything I loved. I enjoyed telling a story. I enjoyed the creative process. I enjoyed starting every day with a blank slate, ending each day not knowing what the next would hold.

By the time I graduated from college, I felt I had a good foundation for a successful career. I created a resume and what is called a resume tape that contained video clips of what I felt was my greatest work from an internship at a local newscast in Baltimore. I received my first job offer less than a month out of college but accepted a different job several months later.

My career in television was short-lived. While I enjoyed the work, other factors pulled me in a different direction. I moved onward and upward. I look back at what I did and miss it, but I enjoy what I do now much more.

Recently, I watched my original resume tape for the first time in many years. Some of it held up and reflected well on my skills at the time. It demonstrated my potential for future growth. But the video editing sample left a far different impression. It was awful.

I remember making the tape and being proud. Today, I see it with different, more experienced eyes. The skills I wanted to highlight weren't examples of superior ability. They were talents so basic that most professionals take them for granted. It was the equivalent of an advanced mathematician bragging about his ability to count from one to 10.

That doesn't change the pride I felt at the time. At that moment it was the best I could do. But that moment has passed, the years have passed and I have gained skills and knowledge that make me a better person. I have met people who have pushed me to what I thought were my limits and beyond. I have overcome obstacles and looked back to see my greatest fears were inconsequential.

The person I am today is different from the person I was then, or the person I'll be in the future.Many years from now, I may choose to look back on what I've written. If I do, I hope I read this. I hope I remember how I felt when I wrote it. I hope reading it gives me insight.

Most important, I hope what I write reflects well on the skills I now have and demonstrates potential for future growth. It's only through that growth that we gain the ability to expand beyond who we are in order to transform into who we are meant to be.

Erick Rommel is head staff writer for The Catholic Spirit in the Diocese of Metuchen, N.J. His column is syndicated through Catholic News Service.


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