When I was growing up, I was glued to Good Morning America. Joan Lunden was the co-host with Charlie Gibson, and her simple elegance and poise drew me in. At 13 years old, I knew I would work in television…and someday wanted to be on GMA…just like Joan.
That was my goal, and all through high school and college I worked hard. Always thinking I wanted a career, but children…uh…not so much. Not yet anyways. I had dreams to achieve, and my 20’s were full of ego driven workload. I was a producer and an editor with aspirations to move in front of the camera. I didn’t have the confidence yet though to put myself out there. So I worked 60+ hours a week behind the scenes learning everything I could. That’s how it is in broadcasting, you have to work harder, better, be more motivated, and stay on top.
But then something funny happened when I turned 30. It was like a proverbial light went on in my head and heart. I wanted to be a mom. And I was ready to try anything in life, like even being in front of the camera. Because I finally cared less about what others thought of me, and more about me. It’s amazing what a little confidence can you do for you. I didn’t need acceptance from others, because I approved of myself. Or was starting to anyways…
I spent the first few years of this new decade enjoying being a reporter while struggling with infertility. Like really struggling, it took seven long years to get preggers. After I became a mother, I slowly evolved my career into being a part-time reporter, part-time producer, and hands-on mom. After the birth of my second child though, I’ve become restless. I’ve been reliving the dreams in my mind that I once had for myself years ago, and trying to figure out how to achieve them. Or if I even want them anymore, especially with kids, whom I hate leaving for more than 6-7 hours at a time.
Somedays I spend hours online looking for that next big TV gig. Should I move to news? Should I look in other markets?
Then other days I am completely happy that I’ve finally found my sweet spot. I mean…how lucky am I to work for a Championship NBA team a few nights a month, run an entertaining Marlins kids show, and still get to raise my girls 3-4 days a week? It really is a dream come true.
A few weeks ago I was talking to my husband about what my next step should be in my career. I confided in him that I felt like I’ve failed because I wasn’t on a path that even resembled what my dreams for my career used to be. I still haven’t worked an Olympic Games. I’ve never been a full-time sideline reporter. And there’s no way I’m landing on GMA unless I have quintuplets or survive a natural disaster or some other bizarre anomaly.
He said something so simple but so true. “You didn’t know you were going to be a mom when you were 16 Kristen, and what that would mean to you. Dreams can change, and that’s ok.”
That quick convo with him really resonated with me, and I’ve thought about it for over a week. You see, so many of us in this industry measure success by network level, regional, national, market size etc. We quantify success by our annual salary, which car we drive, or which designer handbag we’re carrying.
But lately success to me is something so different and blissfully simple. Success is having both my girls finish their dinner without throwing their sweet potatoes on the floor. Success is hearing them say please and thank you, and feeling their little arms hug me. Honestly, success is getting to bed by 10pm after a long, hot shower and being able to read a little on my Nook.
But that’s the difference when you reach your 30’s isn’t it? It’s an acceptance of where you are, and knowing that you are here because you were meant to be. I will always be driven to have some sort of career, and still have my bucket list of events to get to. But maybe I’ll just have to go as a spectator someday. For now though, I’m having fun dreaming new dreams…like picking a kindergarten. Then someday taking my kids snow skiing…and way down the road going wedding dress shopping.
Because when you’re thirty…you realize that you don’t need to live up to other peoples ideals. All you need is to find what brings you joy and peace. And for now I’m just trying to embrace every day and savor each moment of what I do have.
Kristen Hewitt is a Producer for Fox Sports Florida, and a Feature Reporter for the Emmy award winning Miami HEAT broadcasts. You can see her on the sidelines on Sun Sports during home HEAT games, or catch her Miami Marlins kids show “Billy’s Bunch” on Saturday mornings during baseball season on Fox Sports. She also writes a blog, http://www.mommyinsports.com, which chronicles her passion for sports and the misadventures of mommy hood. Kristen’s favorite job though is raising her two girls Lila & Emylia. She tries to teach them to live every day with grace, gratitude, love…and a lot of laughs!