14) ‘amputations’ by death cab for cutie

In this modern day and age, we have instant coffee, instant tea, instant disbelief. That’s the reason we will never become anything — it is because we never believe in ourselves. We always listen to the mass majority. If everybody’s making fun of you and criticizing you, you know you’re on the right track, ’cause most people ain’t got it.

— Glenn W. Turner

We’ve reached what very well might be the final Death Cab song on this playlist. And what I though was the end of my life in Richmond.

There were parties. My girlfriend moved in as we geared up to head to Charlottesville. I got to sign a resignation letter with the A.T. Cross Co. classic black with 23 carat gold-plated appointments Classic Century ballpoint pen I’ve had since I was a child. I left behind a typography and design template that is still used in part to this day. I left satisfied with what I had done over the years at that paper.

It was time to enter the next phase of my life with a new, positive outlook. I compressed a lot of experience in those six years in journalism in Richmond’s southern suburbs. It was time to apply that elsewhere.

I made a lot of mistakes as I gained that real-world experience. It felt like I was on the path of getting it right.

And I wasn’t giving up on journalism. I believe in it, and I believe in me. Although Turner, who is quoted twice in this song, was a fraudster, I think of that last sentence when I hear “fake news” one time too many or think this part of my life that I find so important to me and the entire world just isn’t for me. When I once came close to quitting this industry that I love enough to create a soundtrack, a friend said she was certain I would literally be the person who turns out the lights when the First Amendment also fades to black. I don’t want that to happen because I was that light of truth to continue to shine. And I want to be a part of it.

It was just time to no longer do it in the Tri-Cities, where I first landed after college.

Next: Interlude

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