It’s been almost two months since I left my “glamorous” career as a television reporter.
The day I walked out of the station I had a big smile on my face – excited about the new world of National Public Radio (NPR). The first few weeks were bliss, I had evenings and weekends with my family and for the first time in a long time I felt like I was truly living.
But recently, let’s say in the last two weeks – I’ve started to panic. What the hell did I just do?!
I’d been in TV news my entire career…and when I wasn’t in TV I was dreaming of being in TV. Don’t get me wrong, I love every second with my family – but in TV news I was used to getting an adrenaline spike every day. I realized very quickly that maybe, just maybe over time I’d become addicted to something always crashing, exploding, burning.
But that’s not how real life works.
Fast forward to today. I was invited to a special preview of NBC’s Fall lineup at my old station KING 5 – with a chance to meet Katie Couric! I walked into the entrance as a guest – the lovely intern Breanne took me and the others to the studio.
The first person I ran into was – my old boss.
“When are you going to call me to pledge?” he asked as he gave me a one armed bear hug. “Ha ha, funny!” I squealed, my voice about three octaves higher than normal. I forgot most of what we chatted about – but I remember him talking about the newsroom, my new life…yada, yada, yada. I walked away with a ridiculously wide grin on my face. As I made my way through the crowd I felt like I was at a reunion – blowing kisses and hugging my old coworkers.
Soon I was in my seat watching NBC’s fall lineup preview. Some of the shows – Revolution, Guys With Kids, The New Normal …actually look pretty good. I used to hear this phrase about targeting the “demo” – today it hit me that I am now “the demo” – a 30 something mom!
Somewhere in there was a montage of news clips – all my former co-workers reporting on stories throughout our great state of Washington. The video was exciting, full of action and the unexpected. I felt my adrenaline pumping again – I felt that longing again.
I was soon snapped out of it by the introduction of Ms. Katie Couric.
Couric’s show “Katie” will debut September 10th in the coveted “Oprah” time slot of 4pm. We watched a poignant clip about Katie’s family and the connection she has to her parents. She talked about her passion for her career, but when asked about her greatest accomplishments she put them in this order:
1. Her two daughters
2. Her work in cancer awareness and research
3. Being a great daughter & sibling
As the program wrapped up I bumped into none other than legendary KING 5 anchor Jean Enersen.
“Tonya!” she said as we embraced. We chatted about my new path. I don’t know if I had a longing in my eyes or what but she said, “You choose this for balance right? That’s a good thing.” I quickly fell out of my trance.
Yes Jean, YES.
I left TV news for a reason. I was no longer the bright eyed 20 something who lived and breathed television news. The adrenaline rush of breaking news began to feel like a pulling and tugging at my heart. Each time I had to knock on the door of a grieving mother, show up on the scene of another tragedy or pour through court documents of some horrific crime – I honestly felt like a piece of me was being chipped away. Dramatic yes, but true.
These few hours back under the roof of “The Home Team” was just what I needed to get back on track. Sometimes we mistake feelings of familiarity with what’s right – when in reality moving on and growing is what we owe to ourselves…it’s what I owe myself.
So that saying is right – you can never go home again, although visits are nice.
Headline Photo: Fabulous mommy bloggers at NBC Lineup event. @momstart, @jennyonthespot, @katiekavulla