To My Lady Friends

To my lady friends,

I recently was working on project that included interviewing two teenage lady friends.

First of all, they were adorable.  They chatted about their musical taste, how they met, and the ups and downs of their high school experience.  As the interview progressed, they often laughed at our questions already knowing what the other was going to say.  When we asked about their guilty pleasure music, they answered for each other too embarrassed to say it themselves.

At one point, it developed into a compliment session.  Telling the camera why they admired each other and what they sought out in each other. One girl’s outgoing and bold personality complimented the others shy but confident demeanor.

As the interview progressed, I reflected on my own female friendships from my high school and college years.  Although I’m embarrassed to admit it, my eyes definitely misted up a few different times throughout the interview.  I laughed along knowing that if you were to put me in front of a camera with a number of my close female friends, a similar interview would play out.

I became acutely aware of the roles that my female friends have played in my life.  I thought of my friend who introduced me to the sounds of alternative music, the friend who was always there when you needed a good cry (or get ice cream three times in one day), the friend who pushed me out of my comfort zone, the friend who forced me to think differently, the friend who never let fear get in the way, the friend who you could count on to be down for ordering pizza with and knowing they wouldn’t count how many slices you ate.

These ladies have shaped me, pushed me, and accepted me.  Thank you.

But I’ve never sat across from these brilliant ladies and told them how important they are to me, why I admire them, or how they inspire me.

So I’m making it a personal mission this year to take the time to thank them for their help, guidance, and love.

Truly lady friends, you’re the best. I love you.

Love,

Courtney

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It’s all about perspective

Just over a week into my first big girl job I found myself chasing a street sweeper in low heels and a dress. I was on the brink of sweating from the extra excursion caused by the nice clothes in combination with the hot July sun. My illusions about the glamour of the job shattered with each loud clap of my heels against the pavement.

I took a reporting job just over a week before this race took place. Freed from the restraints of simple press releases this was my first real story and it was not going according to plan. It sounded simple. My editor wanted me to write a piece on what street sweepers actually do since there are a lot of misconceptions about the topic. I set up a meeting with the Street Superintendent as soon and I could and planned to have the story done the day after my interview.

I walked into the Street Department office with our photographer, pen and recorder in hand, ready for my first interview as a real journalist. That’s when the wild goose chase started. The Superintendent radioed the man in the street sweeper and gave us the names of a few streets the sweeper was near and off we went. Since I was new to the area I had to program the streets into my slow-thinking Garmin GPS and it took us awhile to track down our target.

When we finally located him we parked our cars, I grabbed my notebook and we started after him. Judging by the speed he was traveling when we drove passed, I was shocked by how much ground we had to make up just from parking our cars. After wildly waving our arms to no avail, the chase began.

Woman With High Heels On The Running Track - Concept

We caught him three streets later and the photographer hopped up inside for pictures. I walked awkwardly behind the machine not really sure if they would come back for me or if I should follow. The photographer finished and left and I finally conducted the interview, pretending I wasn’t frazzled and mildly sweaty. Relieved when the interview concluded, I turned to go back to my car only to be informed this man was not the normal street sweeper.

A week later the story finally ran. I tracked down the home phone number of the regular sweeper and asked him a few questions before sending the story through. Seeing my name in the paper was far less exciting than I had imagined after the debacle was over.

Looking back I can laugh at the incident and I think it was a good learning experience for me as new reporter. But if you would have asked me about it the day after the chase I probably would not have even cracked a smile. It’s all about perspective.