“Beginnings are usually scary and endings are usually sad, but it’s everything in between that makes it all worth living.Bob Marley (maybe.. its been attributed to a variety of people but I’m sticking with Bob)
After nearly 18 years, I am leaving my job at Bally Sports Midwest—formerly FOX Sports Midwest. I started when I was in my 20s and I was definitely scared my first day. I knew little about television, let alone live sports. But my boss took a chance that I could figure it out. And now that I’m at the end, even though I’m leaving on my own terms, I’m sad. But it’s true—everything in the middle made it all worthwhile.
My job had obvious perks. Countless baseball, hockey, and basketball games. The World Series. The Stanley Cup Parade. Glass seats. Photos of me with hall of fame athletes. Spring Training in Arizona and Florida. I’ve been incredibly spoiled. Even many of my day-to-day tasks were exciting. I wrote copy that aired in Cardinals games. I do not take those opportunities for granted because they were really amazing.
But it isn’t those things that make leaving so hard. While it may sound trite, it’s the people that I’ll miss the most. They are incredibly talented, creative and dedicated. They are also my friends. They helped me through the darkest moments of life. They may not have even known they were doing it, but they gave me the perfect blend of empathy, calm, and humor. They shared my grief & made it a little easier to carry. They held me up and kept me moving forward. They shared my joy when we first heard about the baby who would become my son. They supported me when I was in Florida awaiting his arrival. And then again 11 months later when I did the same for Jordan. They made me feel safe when my life was chaos.
I think it’s rare that one group of people shares the extreme roller coaster the last few years have been and even rarer to be colleagues sharing it. While a few people passed through, the core group remained. I know these friendships will go with me on my next chapter, but it won’t be the same if I’m not able to traipse to the office next door to laugh and cry—often simultaneously.
Yes, I’m scared beginning a new adventure—I hope I’m good at my new job. But there’s great comfort in being around people who know your story. My work friends know that there are times I have to fight back tears because something will trigger a memory. They know that everything is complicated. They know why my kids will always be first. There’s something special about the people who walked through this journey alongside me.
I’ve cried more than a few times over the last few days, but that’s nothing new for me. Now it’s time for a new adventure at a new destination. But thanks to this place—and the people—that made the last 18 years so worthwhile.