Crawling through cobwebs, animal feces, making my way through spiders, insects, rats, snakes and various other phobia-inducing creatures, was my routine for the past six years on a daily basis, almost. But as time passes by, I frequently think of it.
Now that I have finally gotten comfortable with my current position, that is being community section editor with the student weekly Coyote Chronicle, I have been able to connect to the community as a whole.
I have been able to get on the ground coverage with people, events, and problems within my community and get the word out to the public.
To get to where I stand now, my work in the construction business sounds like from another lifetime. This another lifetime started when I graduated high school, I had signed up to go to Mt. San Jacinto College but I needed a job.
As I finally found a job in HVAC as an assistant, I was ecstatic. My tasks included assisting in repairs and installations doing HVAC heating and air-conditioning with my co-worker in various residential complexes within the Inland Empire.
This soon turned out to be dreadful due to the fact that I went under houses and in attics, many of the times which I did not have a mask for. All the dust and particles in the air aggravated my asthma, but I was determined to get through college and my other options were limited due to the job market in my area.
While most of my friends were working retail, cooks, or any other jobs, I was doing manual labor.
The pay was great for me, but I felt very lonely and depressed while feeling my purpose was not that great.
I had been electrocuted, cut, burned, and overall exhausted working while going to college at the same time. On top of that, there was my only my co-worker to talk to, whom I did not get along with.
It was a dark time in my life that most do not experience but I am grateful for my boss allowing me to work and also go to school at the same time.
I did work that makes most adults cry but it helped pay for my education and gave me a better work ethic. Along with that I also realized that going into people’s houses to fix or install air conditioners I found that there was a larger community out there.
Through this I was able to get funded through the L.A. Times and become the community section editor and writer.
Crawling with spiders has helped make reporting much easier especially when it comes to the tough stories.
When you can deal with the darkness then reporting on stories becomes an easier task to accomplish.