Born 2 Freelance

Fitz and Edie 2

Star Struck

For a short stint, I worked as the food and travel editor of the Arizona Daily Star, the largest circulation (now only) daily newspaper in Tucson. Desperation and self-delusion led me to think it would be a good idea to work in-house again after freelancing for more than a decade. I couldn’t travel as the travel editor or review restaurants as the food editor. The office politics were unfathomable and, while many of my co-workers were great, there was this loud Mean Girl in the cubicle across from me…

Wait. All that is in Chapter 14 — just completed, hurrah! — of Getting Naked for Money. This post is about the vagaries of memory.

The Truth Is Out There (And Closer Than I Thought)

I left the Star in less than three months, two days before I would have been eligible for health benefits. I didn’t get fired but I hadn’t endeared myself to the powers that be either.

It was not a triumphal farewell. I remember feeling defeated, slinking out of the building in shame, everyone avoiding me.

But maybe that’s not what happened.

After ending the chapter with a funny-pathetic departure scene, I got up to get a cup of coffee. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of the caricature that David Fitzsimmons (Fitz), the Star‘s prize-winning political cartoonist, had drawn of me. It’s been hanging on a cork board in my home office since I left the newspaper in 2001.

Hmmm. Fitz draws quickly but he must have taken a few minutes to think up and sketch this picture, and not while I was slinking out the door. And I don’t exactly look defeated in it. My hands are on my hips, defiant. I’m saying “@*!% THIS” and wearing a “Born 2 Free Lance” T-shirt.

Other memories came flooding back. I’m pretty sure one of the reporters in my section followed me out of the building, saying, “Good luck — and good for you. We all envy your nerve in making an escape.”

Not so slinky either.

Some people’s memories are rosy. Mine tend to be mud-splattered. Sometimes, however, the truth is as clear as a picture on the wall.

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About the Author

Edie Jarolim is a writer and editor living in Tucson, Arizona. Sign up on this blog to get updates about her humorous tell-all/memoir, GETTING NAKED FOR MONEY: An Accidental Travel Writer Reveals All.

4 Enlightened Replies

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  1. Love this. Speaking as an incorrigible freelancer.

  2. Renee Downing says:

    This is awesome, Edie. I never worked with the Loud Mean Girl (if you’re talking about the person I’m thinking of), but I heard plenty about her from Larry Cox. Some people. Fitz, on the other hand, is a dolly.

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