Archive for January, 2012
When I was seven-years-old I wrote fan mail to my favorite News Anchor, in crayon. With childlike optimism, and a rainbow of colors I predicted my future. I told her I wanted to be on the news one day.
I get to see that woman every time I go to my in-laws’ home. Greyson is from Littleton, Colorado. Adele Arakawa worked in Raleigh before going to Chicago, and then KUSA in Denver.
In high school I produced, directed, worked the cameras, reported, and anchored for ADTV. What? You mean you don’t know what that is? That’s Athens Drive Television at Athens Drive High School. Oftentimes, even to this day if I see someone from high school, they’ll mention my glory days on the morning announcements. Hey, someone had to deliver the latest breaking news on the Cross Country team practice, or the Chess Club’s victory. It was truly fine journalism.
My senior year, all the kids in my class have to give speeches in front of the church as we graduate. I ended mine with, “I’ll see you on the six ‘o clock news!” Any time I thought about changing majors, or changing professions. I thought about that speech. In my mind, that speech sealed my fate. I wasn’t going to let everyone (translation: me) down.
After finishing my degree in Media Studies at UNC Greensboro and an internship at WGHP I had no money and the lease on my apartment was up. I went home to my parents with no idea what I was going to do.
Somehow I managed a job interview at News 14 Carolina in Raleigh. No one told me walking into that newsroom at 22 years old would change the course of my life.
I was hired as a part-time Associate Producer on the weekends. I wrote scripts for the newscast. Very bad scripts.
That’s okay, though. I mean, I wasn’t gonna stay at that cable news station. Oh no! I had my super awesome reporter resume tape from college. ::snicker:: (No, no one will ever see it, ever. Don’t ask!) I was sending it out to small stations around the Southeast. See, in TV news you start out in small markets in Podunk, USA and work your way up.
That’s what I thought anyway. That is until I met the sports guy at News 14. Who is he? Oh, just the guy I’ve been married to for 6 years and have a kid with. Love has that effect on you.
So I stayed.
I stayed at News 14 knowing it would be hard, well, nearly impossible to start an on-air career at a TV station in a market the size of Raleigh. Even if it is cable.
But, I did it.
I worked up the ranks. As an Assignment Editor I pulled my hair out coordinating the day’s assignments for photographers and reporters. As a Producer I dragged my ragged body into the station at 1:00am to get the morning news on.
I finally got my chance on-air after coming in on my off days to learn to shoot, and edit my own stories. It would still be a couple years of producing and reporting before I started reporting full-time. Even then I worked weekends when my friends played, and worked nights when my husband was home. (He got out of news right after we got married.)
I did 5:00am live shots and hauled equipment at 8.5 months pregnant. I covered Presidential visits, high-profile murder trials, contentious state elections, marathon school board meetings, and more different types of weather than anyone should have to deal with. I even made it to the anchor desk as a fill-in anchor.
I kept at it.
I never wanted to get to network news. That was never my goal. I wanted to report the news in my hometown. I did.
And now I’m done.
I felt like I owed it to myself to go back after I had my baby. It’s been a whole year since maternity leave and it’s just time to walk away. I’ve accomplished what I wanted to, and now it’s time for new goals.
This blog has inspired me to embrace the kind of writing I really love. My mom always called writing my “true talent”. I’ve always felt I had to be a little more guarded on my blog compared to other bloggers because of my profession.
It was very serendipitous that I met the president of a local Public Relations firm who needed someone who knows about editing video and writing for social media. After all, I had been complaining around here for some time that I was ready for change. Now I have it. I start my new job February, 8. I’ll have better hours and more time with my family. I can’t wait!
After 8 years this is my last week at News 14. I cried when I told my Assistant News Director I was leaving. I went in a college kid and left a news woman. I grew up there.
I realized the girl who wrote that crayon letter and gave that speech is now a woman. I’m a wife, and mother with different priorities. I’m so proud of what I accomplished in news, but I want something different.
I may not be Adele, but I’m Amy. I’ve lived my dream. Not many people can say that. With a joyful heart, and watery eyes I’ll sign out for the last time Friday, and move on to the next dream.
My friend and sorority sister Beth Anne from Heir to Blair is such a fab blogger that she is a contributor to Babble’s Toddler Times. She asked for pictures of real toddler rooms done by real parents on a budget. I was SO PSYCHED she featured Charlotte’s room! Take a look.
That inspired me to post all the pictures I’ve taken recently of the little quilted corner of our home that belongs to her. I’m not sure when we’ll convert her crib to a toddler bed, but the dropped down crib is working now.
She needs a rug in here. I need some links to sites with cute kids’ rugs and ideas on when to move to a toddler bed. Advice is welcome.
You may have seen and heard some of this before, but humor me. Thanks.
In those first few weeks after Charlotte was born I would live to be able to take a shower. It was 20, quiet, uninterrupted minutes I could take for myself. I would stand there and let the water drip down my still spongy belly, hoping it would wash away my dropping hormones. The warmth would soothe my sore, swollen breasts. I knew soon enough I would be called upon to feed her again.
I would breathe in the steam, rest my head on the cold tiles, and pray.
“Why, God am I so anxious, and scared, and nervous? Please free me of all that haunts my brain!”
Lately I’ve been putting Charlotte in the shower with me, mostly as a time saver. But, it has turned into the funniest little playtime. She LOVES the water. She splashes as it pools around the drain. She shows off her rubber duckies and squawks out what I can only guess is her version of singing in the shower. We giggle at bubbles on soaped up tummies.
I breathe in the smell of baby shampoo, rest my head against hers, and pray.
“How, God did I get this lucky? Thank you for this love. Thank you for the privilege of experiencing this joy!”
I still live to be able to take a shower.