Where were you a year ago?
I had just graduated college, was stressing over finding a job and the impending loss of our house. I was married with a family and was also helping to raise my niece. Though times were tough, I at least felt slightly in control, like an adult with my own family, home, belongings, etc. Separation from my husband was fast approaching, though he refused to acknowledge it or attempt to change it. There was a lot of uncertainty hovering over that topic, but I wished that he would rationally discuss our future with me and form some sort of plan. That was not to happen.
In the best of circumstances, I assumed the ex and I would have worked things out, that we’d have found an inexpensive rental outside of Charlotte County, that he’d be continuing to pursue his degree and that I would be writing for some local publication. The truth is that I’m divorced, living with my parents and managing a website for a television station forty plus hours a week.
I think I’ve made myself clear about how bad divorce sucks, but starting over is the part where I constantly have to battle a feeling of defeat.You don’t put your blood, sweat and tears into a project just to throw it out and change directions. Of course, I feel a small sense of optimism knowing the world is wide open and a new beginning lies somewhere out there for me. I know that there will come a time when I will love someone again and be loved in return. It’s then that I will look back and know how important this experience was for me to go through.
I was hired at WINK on a part-time basis last June, at the height of my personal life’s drama. It was the first interview I went on and I was just happy to be getting a paycheck post-graduation. I was definitely intimidated by the newsroom, since I was completely out of my element. I hadn’t studied journalism and had no ambitions of becoming a reporter or producer. I felt like an idiot, but took the opportunity to learn. By August, I was a full-time employee.
At first, WINK helped me by distracting me from what I was dealing with outside of work. Though sitting in front of a computer all day is a tedious and monotonous task, I take what I do seriously, and it takes up a good portion of my life. There isn’t a lot of time for worrying about life outside of work when I’m there.
Then, I started to find support in the people I worked with. Others who had been through similar situations reached out to me.
Today, my coworkers are a family to me. WINK has been the constant in my life throughout this hellish year. I can’t say the same for relatives and friends, though everyone has their own lives to deal with and my coworkers are sort of forced to spend time with me through our common employer. I don’t know if I will know any of them in a year from now, but I hope I do.
The television news business has a revolving door of employees coming and going, bringing their experience with them, moving onto greener pastures. It has been sad to form bonds, only to see them go, but it’s also inspiring to see people moving up in their careers and that relocation is possible. My coworkers have connections far and wide because of the careers they have chosen.
Being around people who are passionate about what they do is encouraging and has been just what I have needed in the past year. The WINK family fights with each other and makes up; life goes on and we’re all pieces of a well-oiled machine, working together to make something out of nothing on a daily basis. Everyone’s contribution is important. And we know how valuable our work is to the people in our community.
We also know when to show Downtown Fort Myers’ nightlife scene who’s boss.
I’m raising a virtual glass to the lessons and relationships I’ve found in the rubble of my old life’s collapse. Thank you, if you have been one of the many unknowing, positive, contributors to my journey.