I've admired Anderson Cooper for as long as I've wanted to be a reporter. He persevered even with a terribly sad backstory; his dad died during surgery when he was 10-years-old and his older brother committed suicide in front of his mother when Anderson was 21. Being able to continue his life in a meaningful way after his father and brother's deaths would have been an impressive feat on its own, but Anderson didn't just exist, he chased life and his dreams. Yes, he went to Yale and was the son of Gloria Vanderbilt but those two truths didn't open the doors to the career he yearned for. Anderson wanted to be a foreign correspondent, he says he thought it would be "worthwhile adventure". After college, he started applying for entry level jobs at news stations, jobs he didn't even want but thought were the right path to take. Then, after finally landing a job as a fact-checker at a station, he realized just six months in it would never lead him overseas to do what he really wanted to do -- report.
Instead of hoping his hard work would change his boss and co-workers' minds, he altered his way of life. He quit the fact-checking job and flew to Thailand with a fake press pass and a home video camera [You didn't know the guy with this dorky of a laugh (watch @2:29) was such a badass did you?]. Instead of waiting for someone else to task him with a story, he went out and found one on his own then sold it to the station he had been working for as a fact-checker. How's that for a fist-in-the-air type of moment?
I can relate to what Anderson said about changing people's perspectives of you. For a long time I would spend hours writing lengthy pitches to websites I wanted to write for. I heard back from some, which is remarkable considering I imagine most pitch e-mails get deleted immediately. Most of the websites want you to write for free which as I talked about in THIS post, can be an opportunity or it could just mean you're getting used. For years I waited for someone else's permission to write, when all along I should have been giving myself the permission to do so. It's what I love to do, it's just a part of who I am. We have no problem telling our dreams in our Instagram or Twitter descriptions, they're the hyped-up versions of ourselves we want to be. Now though, I can proudly say, mine: "Lifestyle TV reporter, travel/biz/food/drink writer" is 100% accurate and not because someone else told me I could be all those things...but because I work to be them everyday even if nobody else is paying me to do so.