It has officially been one year since I was fired from my last radio job. I feel it’s important to recognize this anniversary because it’s second only to having a baby in the “Changing My Life” department. See, I didn’t just lose a job on November 6, 2014. It was the end of an era for me.
I spent 25 years in broadcasting and 17 of those years doing some form of morning radio, so sleeping until 6:30am has been LUXURIOUS. I also get to watch late-night TV now and was shocked to learn that Johnny Carson is no longer on. I’m slowly turning into my grandmother, staying up late to watch Fallon or Colbert while drinking bourbon and eating individually wrapped candies.
It’s pretty weird though when people ask me, “So, how’s it going? What are you up to?”
I don’t have an easy answer for that question. I went from having 1 full-time job to 3 sorta jobs (Film Critic, Good Morning Texas Contributor, running this website). It doesn’t matter how much or how little I do because I still seem to be stressed out and over-booked all the time. Evidently, I’m horrible at time management and that has nothing to do with being gainfully employed. The main thing I do now though, is hang out with my family. THEY have made all the difference in this past year, and have been total troopers since I lost my job. I remember when I told my kids that I was going to be fired, about a month before it happened. My oldest said, “Does that mean you’ll be here with us in the mornings?” When I said YES, they both cheered. I’m sure that they’ve had to field some pretty awkward questions about their Mom at school, but they’ve never once complained about it. They even drew pictures of monsters eating the person who fired me one day, when they noticed I was sad. I know I should have scolded them, but I didn’t.
I also haven’t experienced an OUNCE of Mommy Guilt in the past year. I didn’t realize how much I was carrying around. That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t jump at the chance to go back to work, if the right thing came along. I know I probably need my kids more than they need ME anymore, but I honestly don’t think the right thing is out there for me. At least, not in radio. Broadcasting needs younger, cheaper women than I and people who will put their careers FIRST. I simply can’t do that anymore.
Deep down I guess I always knew this day was coming but that hasn’t made it any easier. I have mourned the end of my career like it was the end of a marriage, because it essentially was. Radio was my first true love and my husband long before I met Dave. It navigated the first half of my adult life and brought me more joy than I ever thought I deserved. Saying goodbye to my career wasn’t easy but it had to be done.
I thought of all of this while sitting up late one night and watching the movie Sixteen Candles. It got to the scene where Jake Ryan and Caroline Mulford were breaking up in the church parking lot. We’d hated her all along but Caroline didn’t seem half-bad when she said this:
“You know, neither one of us is gonna die if it doesn’t happen for us. But I’m covered, okay? I won’t get hurt.”
Those are the words I’ll take with me after today. It’s the start of a new era and I will move forward with dry eyes, a clear mind and an open heart. I have no idea what lies ahead, but I know exactly what I’m leaving behind.
But I’m covered, okay? I won’t get hurt.
That Caroline Mulford was a real bitch, but she could be succinct when she needed to be.