Do you ever have regrets?
Not the “I wish I wouldn’t have eaten that brownie.” type. I mean the big ones.
- The one that got away
- The house you sold for a bigger one
- The job you passed up
I work pretty hard to avoid regrets. I’m not saying I’ve always made the correct decisions in life. What I mean is when I make that decision, I tell myself I have thought it out and I am making the best one for the time.
This summer, I came up to a fork in the road. At almost the same time, I was offered a chance to teach or to go back to my first love.
No, not him
So I came to a fork in the road, with both paths well-traveled.
The stars aligned. All the signs popped up to go back home.
- My mentor was close to the TV boss’s boss.
- A former boss of mine worked in the same company and swung the door to this television station wide open for me.
- The general manager and I were supposed to meet for a half hour, hour tops. We met for 2 hours and could have kept going.
- The woman who would be my boss and I had similar philosophies, common people.
I was ready to do it! My daughters and husband were supporting the move.
It was going to be tough. I was not going to be home much. I would go back to giving up days off, vacations, weekends. It was no teaching schedule. I would start missing out on my kids’ lives again.
However, I was feeling this incredible pull.
When the News Director asked me to review a show, I didn’t limit myself to that… I reviewed an entire day! I gave feedback on 2 shows. A lot of worked needed to be done. A lot It didn’t scare me away. In fact, I wanted it more.
I shared my feedback on the shows with my mentor.
“Am I crazy to do this?” I asked.
“You and me, Kim. We run to the fire.” He replied.
Yes. For people like us, the challenge is life. This station was rebuilding and I wanted to help put up the structure. I was getting excited.
As I started to consider actually jumping back in, a huge announcement came.
My boss at the middle school was leaving. Then, my other supervisor was leaving.
The signs all said, “Go back to news. You belong there.”
I do. I do belong there. I love the raw energy of a newsroom. The drive to win and watching it all unfold on a night of pure craziness.
Decisions made in seconds.
The signs started to change.
I truly can’t describe the shift, but it happened quite suddenly.
- The new boss at school reached out … to every single one of us… individually.
- A teacher I adore said she was going to be teaching with me.
- Things weren’t going quickly enough with the news job and I didn’t want to leave the school in a difficult position.
I started to imagine life in the new classroom. The interaction with the students, watching them light up when they learn something cool and roll their eyes when I make an incredibly funny joke (haha!).
I saw myself back in the halls with my colleagues sharing the successes and helping each other out when we struggle.
In many ways, the buzz of a school leaves me just as pumped up as a newsroom.
- I love the feeling at class change.
- I like that moment just after morning announcements, when the day is just about to begin.
- I love when a student wears a shirt because of a conversation you all had one day last week.
- I love when students interrupt because they understood what you said and they want to compare it to something else.
- I love when a student brings in a picture of a sandwich you talked about last week, because he and his family decided to try it.
The signs toward staying at school were growing bigger. I was feeling a pull to stay put, to build another year of memories with students.
Most importantly, my girls kept needing me for things I knew I wouldn’t be able to do if I went back home to television. I am not ready to not be there for them.
If anyone reading this is in broadcast news, a police officer, EMT, fire fighter, emergency nurse or doctor… any job that can call you 24/7/365… well, you know.
You can’t always pick when you are there for your kids and family.
I may belong in a newsroom, but for so many reasons, I also belong in a classroom.
I don’t think I will have regrets, because I love being in a classroom so very much… but… I may have regrets.
However, just like when I walked away from The Weather Channel, I know I will rather regret walking away from news than regret not being there for my girls when they need me.
That is not a regret with which I can live.