I’m not sure when I decided that I liked the frenetic pace of journalism. But I know it was part of the reason I loved being in a newsroom. It was loud, rambunctious and, arguably, important.
But I was in the New York Observer newsroom when the Eliot Spitzer scandal broke; in the ESPN newsroom when the Yankees won the 27th World Series; and in the in the Boston Globe when terrorist bombed the marathon. I used to enjoy that environment. But more and more, as I get older and prefer thoughtful action over reflexive action, I find myself seeking quiet places between the every-day lives of people in their routine, where I can do quiet things.
I’ve grown to enjoy working at coffeeshops, watching people in action, but still having work on my screen. I’ve grown to enjoy walking around bookstores, with no plans to buy anything. And I’ve grown to love eating alone in the cafeteria, reading a book.
For breakfast today, I sat in my usual corner. I usually check my email or do something that connects me to the outside world. But today, I decided I wanted to enter another world — the world of John Green, author of “The Fault in Our Stars.” Now, it’s possible this is a younger person’s book, but I like books that are simple in narrative but complex in theme. So I read several pages of the book, which I’d already started, and I started to think about how not-at-the-center-of-the-universe the newsroom was.
We, news people, like to decide what is at the center of the universe. And often, we convince ourselves of it, too, as act accordingly. But I’m starting to disappear into corners of the earth where what’s important is what I decide is important.