9/10/2014

Why I'm Walking Away From TV

For most of my professional life, I've been living out of news vehicles and live trucks, hauling it to a fast food drive-thru lane to grab a bite to eat minutes before a live shot -- always hoping I don't have remnants of curly fries or Oreos stuck in my teeth.
I've converted just about everything -- my lunch table at Panera, a desk in a hotel, a table inside a gas station in the middle of nowhere, the front seat of a vehicle -- into an editing bay more times than I can count.
For more than five years, I've been cranking out story...

After story.

After story...

Sometimes it's good news.
Sometimes it's funny...[Seriously. I hate snakes.]

Other times, it's just plain bad news.

But all the time, I've given it 150 percent.
It's not easy to walk away from my dream.

The dream I had since I was a little girl.
I've experienced things I know I otherwise never would have.
And I'm grateful.

I like to believe in the thousands of stories I've had the privilege of sharing, I've somehow -- in some way -- made a difference in someone's life.

It's been an honor coming into people's living rooms every day.
Yes.

Even all the #$%# snowstorms are memories I'll remember try to block from my [still-frozen] mind.


But I've come to the point in my career that when I look in my make-shift iPhone mirror, I realize I've missed out.
The [oh-so-common] 12-hour days...the time I spend on the road, hours I spend getting my hair done, or scouring through clothes racks shopping for a new suit coat that meets a consultant's criteria, finding the right color pallet of make-up to cake on my face that'll work in an HD studio and then spending 10-minutes scrubbing all that mascara off each night...

It's exhausting, you guys.
I didn't go into television news because of the glitz and glamor.
What's glamorous about this, anyway?

I went into the news business because I am a truth-seeker.
I'm a storyteller at my core.

And I've had the chance to share some incredible stories with so many of you.

Which is what makes my decision to leave so hard.
My changed heart...

God put a desire on my heart to be a Momma.

After years of infertility treatments, He chose me to be an adoptive momma.

And what a joy it has been.

When I look in the mirror, though, I realize I've missed out on a lot.

A lot.

I didn't get much time off with my daughter when we brought her home from Texas, and I was back at the full-time grind after a week at home with her.

A week.

I was a new mom deflecting hurtful [sometimes nasty] viewer emails about how thin I looked, how tired I looked...how unhealthy I looked.

And God forbid I wear this red lipstick...MY FAVORITE! (But apparently not an anonymous viewer's favorite...)

Trying to balance motherhood and a demanding, 24/7 job in what my colleague cleverly calls the "glass fishbowl" was proving to be impossible.
We spent our first Christmas together at my work.

And as months continued to fly by, I blinked my eyes and Olivia turned into a toddler.

While I was happy to see Olivia growing into a healthy, happy little girl, my heart broke.

It shattered every time I ran frantically out the door [usually 3-minutes late, trying not to spill my coffee] for work only to return home just in time to kiss her goodnight.

I've missed my daughter.

And my husband.

So much.

The meal-changer...

A few months ago, Chris and I were eating dinner per our standard mealtime of 9:00 p.m.

I walked in from work, threw my keys on the table and kissed Olivia goodnight before I sat down for dinner.

I looked down at my plate and tears started welling up in my eyes.

"I can't keep doing this," I said, staring at my plate.

By the time I mustered out those words I was a full-out blubbering mess.

"I never thought I'd ever walk away from this. I love this job," I said.

But I love my family more.

Opened doors...

Looking for full-time work with a better schedule that still utilizes your passions is tough.

Really tough.

Just the thought of finding a job while working full-time and treasuring the few moments I had with my daughter every day was daunting.

I signed on just about every job board you can find and scoured the internet for a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g.

Just as I was about ready to throw my hands up and say, "I give up!" a notification popped up in my inbox.

"Public Relations Coordinator" was the subject.

I opened it up, and it was a job lead from a local nonprofit.

I felt like God was giving me a nudge.

"Hang tight. I think I've got something for you..."

I'm excited to join an organization that values its employees, their families and their communities.

Sure, there will be days I miss the blaring police scanners, the yelling across the newsroom, the time cues, the mad clanking of the keyboard, the drive-thru dinners, the fax machine jams and the phones ringing off the hook because people wanna know why Wheel of Fortune isn't on...

But I won't miss out on time with my family.
I'm grateful for the years I've been able to dedicate to a career I love, and I'm so happy God provided so much clarity for me while opening a new door that will allow me more time with what's most important: my family.

Here's to new beginnings...

Related content:
My "I'm Not On TV Anymore" Bucket List
Motherhood

14 comments:

  1. SImply AWESOME. GOD works things out when you least expect it. If you are ever in need of prayer just let me know my friend. Until then Congratulations, enjoy the precious Blessed Gift of Marriage and Motherhood and Take care and may GOD Continue to Bless you and your Beautiful Family.

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    1. Warren,

      Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement during this transition! I appreciate it more than you know!

      Blessings to you,
      Shelley

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  2. I enjoyed reading this! The T.V business is busy and stressful. It definitely isn't glamorous either and nothing should get in the way of seeing your beautiful daughter grow up. I'm glad you took such a bold and courageous step and I'm glad God helped you find something worth while. Best of luck and God bless.

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    Replies
    1. Ah, you "get it."

      TV news isn't glamorous and it is quite stressful most days, but I'm grateful I was given so many opportunities during my career.

      Thanks for your encouragement and support!

      Shelley

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  3. I had a promo producer come into my office one day to tell me that she had to leave the station. She had to leave because she could no longer stand being separated from her fiance who was working in Fargo, and her in Duluth. She was crying because she loved her job, but she (obviously) loved her fiance and their life together. I told her that while I didn't want her to leave, because she was a damn good producer, she should ALWAYS choose personal life over her professional life. There should never be that question. Was sad to see her go, but happy that she was moving on to be a more happy and fulfilled person.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love it when personal life and professional life work together well -- that makes life a heck of a lot easier, doesn't it? ;-)

      Good to hear your former colleague found fulfillment in her move. I'm hoping for the same.

      -Shelley

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  4. I am so glad we were able to meet , and will always thank you for helping get something done about the dog problem in Nashua . I truly believe the only reason that happened was because of your reporting and getting the information out there .
    Best of luck to you and your family !

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    Replies
    1. Dawn,

      I'm glad our paths crossed, too. Thanks for appreciating my work.

      Best,

      Shelley

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  5. Just reading this. You are doing an awesome job -- keep being brave, mama! xo

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  6. Hi Shelley :) I stumbled upon your blog and just felt compelled to say that I love the way you write and your adoption journey is very inspiring! I worked in television news in Seattle for 10 years and quit to have a baby. We struggled for many years to have a baby and finally were blessed with our beautiful boy after just one round of IVF. I can't imagine still working in news and being a mom! It would be so hard. Fighting for Christmas off, constantly being on call, late nights, early mornings, the list goes on and on! I completely understand your desire to leave news! It's a hard decision to make. I always felt like being an Executive Producer was what defined me, but then I became a mother and discovered there was so much more! :) Thanks for sharing your story!
    Brooke

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    1. Brooke,

      Thank you so much for your sweet message. It sounds like we are soul sisters! Being a mom is the best, isn't it?

      Happy for you :)

      Shelley

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  7. I'm SO happy for you an your new career path! I hope it's off to a great start!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Matt and Emily! It's been a learning curve, but so rewarding! :)

      Shelley

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