World Away

I still want to be a reporter.

I’ve finished my first full week of running around, getting interviews, shooting footage, editing stories down to the last minute, primping for on-set interaction… and I still enjoy it. Hallelujah I must be doing something right. That degree won’t go wasted. 

It’s hard to believe that this time last year I was wrapping up my seventh year working in the factory, getting ready to head to Lansing to start my journey in the TV business. 11 months later, here I am in Traverse City, producing a half hour show and reporting for the evening news. 

I’ve heard it from others–my mom, sisters, etc.–but really, I need to tell myself: Jamie, I’m proud of you. I look back at this journey and think wow, you’re really on your way now. I’ve gone from steel-toed boots and a hairnet to a job that pays me to get not only my hair done, but also my nails–a luxury never allowed in the factory.

I learned a lot in my time with Roskam. Sure, I know the percentage of marshmallows in your Lucky Charms, how much breakage/crumbs are allowed in that bag of Chex Mix, and how to handle a tape gun, but I’m talking about my work ethic. 

I started working there the summer in between my junior and senior years in high school. So while classmates were out at the beach and going on fun trips, I was working, setting money aside. I paid my way through college by working hard all the way through. In my time in the factory, I did practically every job other than drive a hilo–from sweeping, making boxes, and packing granola bars, to quality control, machine operating, and coordinating when and where employees would work. Just before I accepted my producing job in Lansing, one of my bosses came to offer me a job managing employee training, where I’d actually be taught all the latest food safety laws and help conduct classes and administer tests to all the employees at each of the company’s facilities. Needless to say, that would have been a pay raise. Beside the money, the offer still was tempting. It was a job that I could have done well.

But I declined. I knew there was a different road for me to go down. One that I had dreamed of since middle school. I needed to give that a chance. So I said goodbye to my friends and factory family. No more pitas, waffles, or french bread. No Crunchy Nut or Duncan Hines frosting. I turned in my timecard and threw away my steel toes. 

Off to Lansing. Less money, but a chance at cashing in on a dream. 

I was thrown into the fast-paced world of news. A couple days of training and I was on my own. There were definitely days where I screwed up, got behind, missed details that were needed. But I learned from those days and developed new ways of staying on track. If there’s one thing I learned from the factory, it’s this: find the most efficient way to do something, and get it done. So I did. I learned a lot from the people I worked with: how to write, how to handle breaking news, and how to put on a good show. 

I’m happy to take my experiences along with me on this new adventure. Passing on my information to my replacement showed me just how much I’ve grown in the past year. The amount of training I needed coming to a new station also showed me where I stand. I know what I’m doing when it comes to producing, I just have to adjust to different equipment.  

One of my college graduation presents was a decorative sign that says:

Inspire

You really can change the world… if you just let the world see you.

It’s hanging in my kitchen. I see it every day. Who I am… Where I am… I really can change the world.  That quote is true for everyone, but I find it more poignant at a time where I’m invited into people’s homes at night to tell their stories. The world can see me. Tune in to 7&4 News at 11. I’ll be there. 

So what can I do with that? I want to make the most of this opportunity. I want to cover stories that matter. I want to meet great people and share their lives with others. It’s not about being seen. It’s not a popularity contest. It’s about having an impact. Changing the world, one minute-and-a-half segment at a time. I want to inspire goodness in people. I want to share the light of Christ with people. I want to give hope in a seemingly hopeless world. 

I’m honored to be here. I’m thankful for where I’ve been. I’m looking forward to where God leads me on this great adventure. Thanks for tagging along. 

We’re a world away from where we started. No more looking behind. We can make it if we just hold on. Keep the faith ’cause love’s on our side. We’re a world away but we’re not there yet. There’s a whole lot of road up ahead. I want to ride every single mile with you. We’re a world away, no more yesterdays, we’re a world away.
–Avalon

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One thought on “World Away

  1. Sherri says:

    excellent! You amaze me with your writing too…very poetic at times Jame!! Rockstar!

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