Thank you friends and family for cheering me up. I'm feeling a little better. :)
A chance meeting with a program director and yoga helped too.
I just couldn't take any more meat, so I broke down and went to a vegetarian restaurant by myself for lunch yesterday. At that time, I was so miserable and lethargic that I was seriously thinking about taking the next day off. I ordered my noodles and as I was sitting down, Bailing the PD came in and called me from behind and joined me at my table. Bailing is the first PD I met at FTV. Although we don't speak often, he's been encouraging. Realistically encouraging, to be precise.
After some chitchat, I told him that I'm really hanging on by my teeth these days. We talked about the other returnee kids (those that lived/studied/grew up abroad but came back to Taiwan) and how they fared. He told me about the two other girls before me who and are both anchors now, one still here and one at another station. They were also put through reporting first. One made it through and one didn't. The one who didn't pass the test couldn't take the pressure the cameramen gave her, and although she's doing alright as an anchor these days, she's still being protected by management. Protected from me, apparently. But to tell you the truth, she's got the face of an anchor and I don't. I call her the "Maria Bartiromo of FTV." But in any case, she was taken out of reporting after a little while and made an anchor. The other girl made progress in reporting in leaps and bounds, and became a reporter/anchor (which is where I'm at now). Later she made C-list anchor and started anchoring regularly weekday mornings. Then an opening came up in the evening prime time news and she was put there. But after some problems involving company politics, she was replaced and her time slots kept changing, and she eventually left for another station, where she seems to be doing alright these days. However, her performance as an anchor seems to have its limits. Bailing says she looks and sounds more like a young lady rather than an anchor. She has a very kind and childish look with a high-pitched voice.
Then Bailing warned me. He said to think very carefully when the offer to become a full-time anchor comes. He says if you're not professional anchor material, it may be worse to completely get into it, because it's difficult to get out. One, you lose the contacts you've made as a reporter in about two years and two, you face a lot of messy competition to get to the top. So if you lose, what you end up with is a reputation as an anchor who didn't make it and contacts that you've lost. He reminded me that I'm not A-list anchor material. It's true. I don't have the serious anchor look and I don't have the serious newsperson personality. Then I remembered what I was out to do - to accumulate friends, contacts, experience and exposure. There's no way the current management will let anyone shine beneath them - not any team, not any person and certainly not me. This, he says, is why I'm lucky. It's not my turn to shine yet. I'm still in the process of making mistakes and learning from them. He says this is the place for me to make a fool of myself and to lose all the face I can possibly lose.
He is so right. I had forgotten that becoming an anchor was only my short-midterm goal. I had also forgotten that I'm very lucky to have my personal circumstances match the environmental situation. People left and right tell me that I'm being prevented from being the best that I can be, but I realize now that it's not such a bad thing after all. Thanks to them, I'll have an even brighter future. Negative energy is not easy to bear, but what it attracts is positive energy. If I am resilient, I will survive, and I will be great.
Look out, World, I'm back on my feet!
Now, I just need to get my body functioning again.