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