Haunted by a Nightmare or Chasing an Unfulfilled Dream?

Someone told me on TikTok that I should be on 60 Minutes.

That made me want to simultaneously laugh and cry.

Because, funny enough, I had an internship lined up with 60 Minutes the summer between my Junior and Senior year of college.

And I gave it up along with a potential career in broadcasting.

Why? Well, there were a host of reasons: crippling self-doubt, mental health issues that could no longer be ignored, a financial crisis, etc.

It’s incredibly strange and almost an out of body experience to watch myself kind of come full circle – back to, maybe not broadcasting, but storytelling. I guess I’ve always been a storyteller – even when I ran full steam ahead into other careers – social media marketing, politics, fashion blogging. I think I needed those 15 odd years exploring other careers. Gathering new skills. Having children. Growing up. But I am a creature of habit and accepting the fact that my career path wouldn’t be a straight-forward one has been hard to accept. Crushing at times when I thought I had it all figured out.

I recognize that I could not do at 21 what I can do now at 35. I’m not sure if I’ve gotten wiser with age, but I am definitely more self-assured. Incidents that would have crushed me in my early 20s if I had been a young broadcaster for a local outlet somewhere in a mid-tier market don’t have that same impact now when I reach tens of thousands (sometimes more) people on TikTok.

It’s difficult for me not to travel back in time, knock on the door and visit with “what could have been.” The path not taken. But I’ve also come to terms with the fact that my journey was never going to be linear one. And perhaps without that time spent away to focus on my mental health, rediscover a love of history and finish up with a degree in that field, I wouldn’t have the skillset or the confidence to do what I do now. Maybe I’ve taken a more process of elimination path. Maybe that’s ok.

What do I do now: Create. I realize in the most primal sense, that’s what I enjoy doing. That is what fulfills me. Lately I have been neglecting the side of me that is energized through writing because my TikTok has taken on a life of its own. And while I love researching and creating TikTok series, I think I need to diversify how I create. Where I create. Exercise a different muscle from time to time so they do not atrophy. If we’re keeping it 100, a break from my phone.

Am I being haunted by a nightmare of what could have been or am I chasing a dream I didn’t know I still had? Is the feeling of trepidation based on the fact that I thought I had closed a door on…what exactly? Presenting? Creating? Dreaming? I’m not exactly sure.

But that’s where I’m at. For now at least.

x, Meredith


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