Have you ever had moments where you wonder how you are getting paid for doing something you love?
I remember vividly when a young Larry Bird, the self-proclaimed Hick From French Lick, fresh off of signing a multi-million dollar contract, said, “I forgot to tell Mr. Auerbach I would have played for nothing.”
Given that we’ve got Aidan going to college in a few short months, I’m not willing to go as far as Larry did, even in jest.
But I do understand the sentiment.
I was talking today with Victor Perez, one of my new colleagues at Hoy, about his coverage of national and world issues.
I had gone through the standard Human Resources orientation, been introduced by Fernando and was in the process of going around and introducing myself to my teammates.
I took Victor to my brother Jon’s web site and showed him some of the gruesome images Jon has taken of murdered bus drivers in Guatemala, of undocumented migrants crossing the Rio Grande and of anti-immigrant rallies here in Illinois.
“Es fuerte,” Victor kept saying, pulling in his breath involuntarily as he looked at the image.
We continued talking about the work Victor does, shared a little bit about where our families are from, and began to talk about the work we will do together.
The conversation flowed easily, and in Spanish, as if we had known each other for months, rather than minutes.
As we clicked through the work to which Jon has dedicated much of the past decade, I marveled at my great fortune to be in one of journalism’s most storied buildings talking with a new colleague from another country in a language that is not mine, but in which I had gained a certain proficiency by watching a telenovela with my wife and reading the writing of the person with whom I was speaking.
I know there will be challenges, many of them, as there are at any job, that the sheen of being new and the thrill of speaking Spanish daily may recede over time.
And, at that moment, I was feeling deep down good.
Day Two is tomorrow.
I can’t wait.