A sabbatical year. A generic way of saying I went to a Master. Nothing special about it. My generic Sabbath: MA degree, me and other 6,000 students from Romania chasing the British dream. Me and other tens of thousands of young journos.
My generic Sabbath was not a time to rest or to enjoy no-alarm clock days while counting wrinkles, coins and ceiling-sheep. My own, personal ‘Sabbath’ is about counting failure, #tryagain-s, THE ‘again’-s, to count words to write, books never read, things never heard about, ‘Aha!’ moments. The ‘I-am-not-there’ home-moments. The differences, mostly minuses and from time to time, achievements. Oh, and in the end of each month also counting Penny-coins! But about being rich when you’re broke I’ll tell you some other time, this year.
My Sabbatical year started with me wanting to become more of a British Journalist. You know the ‘reporters cross the line’ thing, no flat earth news and a clean BBC line/linen. This means I was chasing the journo British prototype that I had in mind as being the ultimate model of reporter-producing line. I, myself, wanted to become a product. A British product of journalism. So: wear a shirt, be blonde (maybe?!), short hair-cut, serious tone, a bit dry, accurate, fast, smart, bold. From camera looks to journalistic guidelines. I was almost working on a factory of book-made journalists based in London, Harrow. Generic production. Until…
Until I had the ‘Ahaaaa!’ moment hearing Dean Sackton, a creativity Guru, saying at Harrow Conversations: ‘I need individuals. Assy, weird, arrogant, whatever! individuals. I am sick of generics! Generic people!’. I remembered why I came here in the first place. Not to become just another journo, another reporter, the ‘another one’. But: the one. You put a lot more of an effort to become as someone else, the generic else, than yourself, your individual self. Shortly: don’t bullshit yourself with wannabe, get real with what you really are.
The Sabbatical year for me is for learning the generics and looking for the trademark. Not just another one. But the ‘one’ thing that makes you special. As we say in Romania: ‘a fi mai cu moţ’, as in ‘having something on the ball’ or as French would say ‘le je ne sais quoi’, the x-factor.
The raw material for my individual self would be that I like details to build the huge picture, I try to write as I speak and I speak as I think, I exorcise dullness and praise simplicity, I love people and stories and people-stories. I am not still water, as one of my colleague would say, I am sparkling water. Extreme feelings. Love it to death or drop it for life.
Shortly: a trademark makes you that ‘arrogant’ to think you can make it when statistics and your rubbish demon say it’s a closed road. Well, I might as well give it a try, you devilish doubter, because my trademark is:… Je ne sais quoi, YET. But I will find it out. Let us all meet on this street where we all quit this job of being a ‘bunch’ or ‘alike’ or ‘amid’. Let’s all meet in this street of I don’t know where am I heading to, but I know what I don’t want to. Or what I’m not: a generic.
N.B. In my defence I have to add that I was obsessed with my ‘moţ’ (meaning a little girl’s pony tail) when I was in kindergarden. I might not be the one with the x-factor, but I am not gonna work on a factory of me-like-you’s. So let’s spend Sabbath looking for the x. (NOT the ex).
The factory is closed.
I only trade manufactured pieces of me. Not to be found anywhere else on the market.