If I had a dollar for every time I heard the words, “I hear you’re no longer at the TV station. What are you up to now?”, then I would buy the best hair collection that would blow Beyonce’s mind.
Despite what you all may read on Facebook, see on Instagram or retweet on Twitter, I am an extremely private person. Those closest to me will tell you that I am a complex being. While I am an open book, I like to maintain control over what others know about me. With that being said..yes, I resigned from my job as a news producer on June 26th of this year.
HERE IS THE NOT SO ELOQUENT, GRAINY VIDEO.
I was on TV as a social media contributor (or that’s the title I gave myself) almost everyday for seven months and didn’t know what to say when my last day rolled around. I hadn’t planned out how I would say goodbye to the only thing I’d known for three years. When it was all said and done, I pulled out of the TV station with the hugest weight lifted off of my chest.
Working 3rd shift is no easy feat. I woke up almost everyday over the last year and a half at midnight crying. I am emotional by nature, however tears were always taught to me as a sign of weakness. The women in my family are tough. We don’t cry, we work. Fix what’s making you cry. The thing is, I couldn’t seem to turn off the waterworks. I became increasingly uncomfortable with each passing day. A colleague told me, “Once you stop growing, it’s time to get going.” The chest pains, poor diet and sleepless nights had taken their toll. Any journalist will tell you, the burnout is real. This nagging spirit was telling me to leave. Okay, leave and go where? I applied for 50+ jobs and nothing. To ease some of my frustrations, I started a blog. Whatever I was dealing with or found funny, I wrote about it.
By September of 2014, I worked all night at the station and came home to write articles. I loved the extra money while my sleep and sanity suffered. You never truly understand the value of sleep until you lose it. I could not sleep because I knew I had to wake up and go to the job. My sleep was a stressful time.
At this phase of my career, I had an opportunity to be on-air. Things appeared as though they were looking up. I had inbox messages from viewers and even a few folks recognized me on the street telling me how much they enjoyed hearing my perspective on the morning show. Meanwhile, others bashed my blog articles on social media and called me ignorant. It came with the territory. I quickly realized how fickle the public can be. They love you when they love you and hate you when it’s convenient. When I posted videos on Facebook or saw old classmates, they marveled at how cool (they thought) it was to be on TV and loved my blogs.
Meanwhile, I’m in church praying for peace and falling to my knees every night praying for patience. He answered my prayer.
God made me wait.
By the New Year, my attitude became downright mean. I complained all the time. Became irate with my colleagues and an overall pessimist about life. I saw my friends getting engaged to be married, accepting new job offers, finishing up their degrees and enjoying life. And they’re looking at me like I’m living the dream. Somebody was lying. While I was praying and crying, watching everyone else live out their idea of success, I felt more trapped than ever before. I was at my point of giving up and settling. One thing that Tyler Young does not have is a spirit of complacency. I did all I could and had no other tricks up my sleeve. My late Bishop said in Sunday service something that resonated so clearly with me, “Trouble is inevitable. Attitude is optional.” So I made a deal with God, “I’ll fix my attitude if you fix the situation.” Nothing was fixed.
In April of this year, I attended Bible study just like I did on the last Monday of every month. I was running a few minutes behind because I was in my car crying about my job (again). The message was great about praying and reserving your time with God to meditate on the troubles of others. I don’t think that last sentence made sense, the point is don’t pray selfishly. I sat in the back quietly, trying not to focus on my broken spirit. Then at the end, it happened. My supervisor who repeatedly witness my unhappiness, had a prayer request with my name on it. She truly wanted everyone to pray for my peace. Then everyone turned my way.
Another speech I hadn’t prepared.
I just cried in front of everyone and admitted to my dissatisfaction. On the way home I cried. Went home to do some work, cried there. Told God that I just couldn’t continue crying. Went to sleep with tears in my eyes. Woke up and coincidentally opened my Bible to the verse I should have been reading all along.
While I had been praying and crying, I had forgotten to trust in Him. Your faith means nothing until it is tested. I believed He would work it out and wanted him to hurry up and fix it. Just being honest. Finally, I had my clarity. Leave the worry behind. Being the flawed individual that I am, I got in my car and turned on my nightly trap music to keep me awake during the 18 minute drive. But on this night, I gave the time to God. I had a conversation with God. Apologizing for taking his love for granted, acknowledging the part I played in the mess I had created for myself and graciously thanked Him for where he had brought me. You see, I spent more take complaining than actually giving thanks from where He had brought me. You don’t get a job at a top 25 TV station, on the air with little to no experience. God made that happen for me. I walked in a rookie, and became the trusted producer, only you can’t be everything to everybody when you yourself are broken.
I got to work that night, put a smile on my face and shined as brightly as I could. It was one of the worst days. All hell broke lose (big news day, the Mike Brown verdict was returned, I think), but nothing would break my spirit. More mess arose and the devil tried to steal my joy. Then I walked into the dressing room to put on my makeup, and pretend as if I was happy. I had only 10 minutes to get ready, do a mic check, put something in the prompter and get into place. This day, I did not care and would not get flustered. I looked in the mirror and said, “God. This is my last time coming to you about this. Should I stay or should I go?”. A voice filled the room and said, “I have something better for you.” I walked out of the dressing room more confident than ever, went on air for my best segment. Five minutes later, I sat back down at my desk and typed up my resignation letter, effective in 60 days.
Fast forward to today. More than 90 days have passed and I have not turned back. To answer your question, no I do not have a full-time job. But what you do need to know is that I haven’t paid one bill late, the fridge is stocked and I have healthcare. I entered an uncertain time and being covered by insurmountable grace. My first Monday out of TV news, I remember waking up after a full 9 hours of sleep (big upgrade to my usual 4 hours), walking outside and truly felt the wind tickle my skin. It was the first time in three years that I had paid attention to the beauty of nature. I cried. Not from heartache, but from glory. My heart was no longer full of angst, allowing space to love God’s smallest handiwork. You must learn to bask in the beauty of God’s landscape. If you blink, you’ll miss it.
My family is supportive. I’ve also seen the power of strangers in this time. People have sent me messages with job opportunities and extended their help. Others, just message me to be nosey. I appreciate them both. My discernment is at an all-time high. I recently had a guy tell me, “You were my TV wife. My real wife knows. I never left home until I saw your segment. After you quit, I haven’t watched since.” I don’t think he knew the magnitude of such a statement.
In closing, I realized that I never really quit my job, only changed the position of where I wanted God to catapult me. That nagging spirit was telling me to seek more out of life. I grew professionally and matured spiritually. It wasn’t the job that needed changing. It was me. At age 15 I set these goals for myself: graduate from Winthrop with a degree in broadcasting, work as a news reporter at a TV station, be happy, live on my own and get married. Four out of five isn’t too shabby, even if God remixed them for me. I reached my 10 year plan. Time to craft what’s next. I won’t be spilling the beans on my next move, but let’s just say a silly Facebook post from this day four years ago foreshadowed where I am headed.