• Kanika Lal


Is anyone else traveling down a foggy road? You have a sense of where you’re going, but there are so many roads to take, you’re not sure which one is safest, which one is easiest, which one is fastest? You ask people along the highway if they know where a certain destination is. But each person tells you different directions. Some say it with confidence, some say it with uncertainty, but still act confident that they know. Then you’re stuck in circles. Sure, Google Maps could help you out, but what if your phone dies? Then what? What and who do you rely on?

If I had a Google Maps telling me which exit to take in my personal life, man I wouldn’t feel so lost. But, I don’t. And I have to rely on my indecisive mind, beating heart, and those who surround me. Doesn’t seem like the most reliable sources. But, do we have a choice?

What if I can’t reach a decision from so many options? What if I can’t hear the answer that my heart beats? Is anyone else scared, but me?

The more I’m realizing and the more I’m learning, the more lost I’m becoming. The phrase, “the more you know, the more you know nothing,” has never been so accurate and relatable in my life.

Hah, I thought I knew everything. Growing up, I was so confident I knew exactly what I wanted out of life. It’s not that things have changed drastically. But my purpose and my intention behind my actions are clouded. With the rise of technology, digital media, and “millennials,” it’s heightened my uncertainty in life. While it’s exciting, it’s also frightening. Opportunities are endless and options are abundant. While that may seem like a good thing, I haven’t fallen in love with the notion yet that starting over is a blessing. And by starting over I mean learning a whole new way to tell a story, to report the news, to be “yourself.”

You can now have a camera, record yourself putting makeup on your face, build up a following, and BAM, you have a deal with a top studio where you’re making a ridiculous amount of money.

So, as someone like me who studied broadcast journalism to become an entertainment reporter and appear on television interviewing the biggest stars. Where does that put me? It certainly doesn’t put me in a small market reporting on the latest fire. That’s not what I want. But, is that where I should start? But hey, now we have YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, and Spotify making original content. Let me just call them up…

Oh, but wait, I have to have a brand now. A brand? Like, a cereal brand? Should I be Lucky Charms? Nah, Frosted Flakes. They’re great.

I was never taught that! I was taught to be a good reporter, to research, to have good communicative skills. Not to focus on ONE thing. If I wanted to cover news, I gotta cover it all. What kind of journalists and reporters and hosts are we if we are not expanding and using our skills to widely report. Who are you to tell me to focus on one thing?

Well, too bad. Because I want to act. I want to write. I want to have a family. I want it all! Or “Lal” as my friend coined for me.

I know, I appear a little childish. But, I’m sick of feeling so lost and confused. All because of what “works” in this industry. If you say there’s no set formula, then why are you telling me what I should do? If people can be plucked from YouTube, why can’t I? Why can’t we all, then? What am I missing here?

Oh, so I get it. That’s why I need a brand. Who’s going to want a silly “journalist.” She’s not trying to feed you guys important information or anything. Oh, but wait. I’m Indian! It’s so exotic and different. I can totally talk about Bollywood!!

Bollywood is my passion, yes. But, I didn’t study four years of journalism to sit here and talk ONLY about Bollywood. I can crack cases about the sometimes shady-ness of the industry, yes. I can teach you how to Bollywood dance, definitely. But, I’m not going to comment on who’s dating who. Neither am I going to do that in Hollywood.

Where does that leave me? A girl wanting to be taken seriously, but also a girl who wants to make people feel moved and motivated. And, also raise awareness on topics that interest me — Donald Trump’s ignorance about religions or the newest restaurant to try or an interview with a really fascinating individual. We’re all human, we’re all together, we have to learn and understand from one another. We can’t live on our own world. Because, the problems that I’m going through, I can bet my life there’s at least one other person feeling the same. Well, we can talk about it together. Communication is key.

So what’s my brand? After all this, where does that put me?

A makeup tutorial artist? Ok, great. I’ll take it.

#branding #careers #opinion #brand #google #decisions

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