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Passport Stamps Taking a Cat Nap
You may have noticed Passport Stamps has been a little quiet lately. Between the demands of the day job, travel and events to promote the book, and life in general, it’s been difficult to find time to sit and write.
On top of that, it’s been difficult to find words. It seems that every time I sit down to write about the latest bit of bad news in the world, the story shifts before I finish a piece, or something happens somewhere else.
So, I’m taking a “mental health” break from Substack and writing about international news for the rest of the year. In the meantime, Squeak and I will continue other efforts and activities to raise awareness and promote mental health for journalists (and frankly everyone).
Last week, I visited Lehigh University, my undergrad alma mater, to speak to journalism, international relations, and political science students about my book and my life experiences.
One thing I pointed out is that trauma and difficult stories are not just the purview of war correspondents. I told students that any journalist in the United States today can end up covering a traumatic event that could affect their mental health.
As I often do in my talks, I mentioned how a journalist working for a small town paper covering high school sports or local politics could suddenly end up reporting on a shooting at a school, mall, place of worship, or restaurant.
The next day, local journalists in Lewiston, Maine, many of whom probably never had any interest in covering war or violence, were covering another horrific incident of gun violence. Journalists probably knew some of the victims. They will be forever changed by this story they had to cover.
This is the reality today. There is darkness everywhere you look these days, so it’s critical to step outside, enjoy beautiful fall weather, dress up for Halloween, play with your cat, or whatever else you can to recharge. Not everyone has that luxury these days, and so we will continue to do what we can to help them, but we still need to take care of ourselves too.
For paid subscribers, you won’t be billed again until I resume posting. Next year.
In the meantime, if you haven’t read my book, I suggest picking up a copy and diving into that to tide you over!
Stay safe and healthy.