A new year looms. As it has since I began unfurling this story, New Year's Eve carries a special meaning. As much as I'm thinking about Mel and Annalee, I'm also thinking about the people who left similar impressions upon them, and upon whom they left their own impressions. They are on my mind as I consider how, 73 years ago tonight, Mel and Annalee made the heartbreaking decision to leave their friends at a Manila hotel, run to the city's burning docks and leap aboard the last boat sailing into a dark, mine-strewn harbor before the Japanese entered the Philippines' capital. It was not an easy decision; the people they left behind were their colleagues, their friends, their fellow "soldiers of the press." They were, as I've addressed before, their tribe.
Why am I telling the world this? Why am I telling you this, you, reader, the one who has come to this site with a journalist's promise of renewed attention to this blog; why to you, the one who may very well want to assess my professionalism, who may be weighing a job offer or a recent freelance pitch I've made; why tell you, who may be evaluating the credibility of my reporting after I reached out to arrange an interview; why you, the potential new fan who's curious about the quality of my work?
Because, I've been wasting too much time trying to prove myself, trying to fit all the guidelines I'm supposed to fit to get your attention. I am here. I am who I say I am. I am what you see on this screen. I am the voice you hear in my narration. I am the eye behind my lens. I am the fingertips on this keyboard. The best way, the only way for me to go forward is to embrace my failure.