They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it surely took friends and family to help move this 28-year-old.
I shipped an apartment worth of stuff to the lone star state and then nearly missed my flight. With my ride waiting in the parking garage I realized I didn’t have enough room in my suitcases for the clothes I needed to bring. Panicking, I began filling a trash bag with clothes (TSA would’ve had a field day with me) before coming to my senses and calling a friend in my apartment complex. He delivered a duffel bag, I packed the remaining clothes and sucked down 8 Capri Suns on our way to the airport.
“Ladies and Gentleman welcome to Dallas/Fort Worth.” Until the stewardess delivered this message to everyone on our flight from San Francisco, it’d all been a blur. The packing, cleaning, planning, and bittersweet goodbyes. I was leaving behind my family, friends, and my first broadcasting job to take a gig as a sports reporter for the ABC affiliate in College Station, Texas. Outside of Texas A&M University and muggy weather, I knew very little about the city I was moving to. However, I was sure of one thing. I needed to do this. I was happy in the Bay Area but it was time for a change. A challenge. A new journey. I am certainly getting all three. I’d never been to Texas before and, ironically, it was a man from Alabama who gave me my first ‘I’m really in the South’ moment. As about 10 people waited for the shuttle in front of the airport, I overheard a man in his mid-30’s say “I’m from Rogue Hill, Alabama and ain’t nobody out here seen a redneck like me.” Well, Alabaman, after a month of living here I beg to differ.
Regardless, I’ve met some great people here and have already covered some fantastic stories. From the Aggies’ girls basketball national championship ceremony to a profile on the A&M equestrian head coach a week before her squad captured a national title, I’ve been blown away by the amount of talent in various sports programs. Also, the pride people take in the sports down here is remarkable. While some would perceive the many traditions as a bit excessive, I disagree. As someone who’s passionate about covering sports I think these underlying traditions only add importance to the stories I report. Even though I’ve had to battle old, sluggish computers and temperamental cameras, I’ve managed to stay positive and establish a process for getting things done.
In addition, with this being my first network job I chose to do something that had been on my mind for years. I’m using my mother’s maiden name for the rest of my broadcasting career. She got me into theatre at a young age and really sparked my interest in performing in front of others. Furthermore, she’s always encouraging me to believe in myself and chase my dreams. While her efforts are priceless and couldn’t ever be sufficiently re-paid, this is a token of my appreciation. One of the main reasons I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to work in the Bay Area after college was because my mom and her parents could watch me on TV. The amount of pride my grandparents exuded is something I’ll always remember. They were all in the crowd when I won an Emmy and it’s moments like those I’ll cherish forever. Until I win another, I’ll continue to do my best so Nonnie and Abuelo keep smiling down from heaven, while their daughter pushes me to shoot for the moon.
Outside of work, I’ve overcome a weekend-long power outage, flying cockroaches the size of reincarnated taradactils, weather muggy enough to make showers insignificant, and my first country line dancing tutorial. I’m knocking off College Station bucket list items every chance I get and enjoying my time here so far. I know I have plenty of moves to make in the future but until my next challenge arises I’ll be making the most out of this one. Life really is a crazy journey and I’m enjoying the ride, y’all.