Responsibility opens pathway to maturity

By Lorenzo Morotti, Editor-in-Chief

As my time as editor-in-chief of The Advocate slowly nears its end I am able to grasp what the pressure of responsibility has done to my outlook of the world I had taken for granted.

While I will still be on staff next semester I have undergone a metamorphosis that without walking into the newsroom four semesters ago would not have happened.

My only regret is waiting two years after graduating Pinole Valley High School to come to Contra Costa College and join the student paper. But I am proud that I did.

And when I dove into the warm waters of the journalism program it soon washed away all the pent up fears I had concerning my future.

Before I joined the paper I was simply going through the motions of working a dead end job as a line cook, hanging out with my girlfriend at the time, partying on the weekends and avoiding all forms of responsibility any chance I got.

I used to despise people and all their problems. As a result I was failing all the classes that I had enrolled into to satisfy my parents desire to see me go to college and graduate.

I mean, my major was fire sciences. I really had no clue what I wanted to do with my life.

Selfish and lost, I turned to my friends from high school who were on The Advocate staff and they encouraged me to join and I did. Since I was comfortable with my drawing ability I thought it would be a breeze.

And during my first semester on staff it was.  I quickly became the go-to editorial cartoonist but limited myself to only improving my own art. I was still lost in my need to be comfortable and revel in my self-pity, but I could not admit to myself that I was depressed, let alone tell that to my family and the people I have come to love.

But I soon began to take on more responsibilities as they were piled onto me by the former editors and found out I was strong enough to carry the weight, and actually enjoyed how it felt.

My first story was about a bicycle repair station that is still tucked away behind the green bicycle locker that is in front of the R Building.

I was nervous at first but as soon as I began talking to other bikers about the bicycle repair station, all that anxiety, fear and nervousness felt like were never there to begin with.

Empathy, that was the key. Being able to relate with strangers was the remedy to my sadness.

I learned to open myself up to the world around me and became aware that my story isn’t the most important tale that needs to be told.

Realizing that my own opinion should not dominate my thoughts, it made it easier to take the plunge into my term as editor-in-chief, and it became much more clear to me that without the people who have supported me I would still be that frail, scared 18-year-old without direction.

Telling the stories of the voiceless at CCC has become my stepping stone to finding myself — a simple revelation, but one that has left a resounding effect on my life.

And as the sun rises on my final Tuesday as editor I am not sad, but rather excited that I have found the power to live the rest of my days on this Earth practicing the profession that I fell in love with, with the people that I love.