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September Surrender: Day 25

What I’m Letting Go: Monday Morning Blues

I have another bottle episode today. A glance at things that happened today and only today. It’s surprising just how much can happen in a single workday. And for a Monday show, this one was a doozy. But it all makes sense that it happened this way, and if you’ll allow me, I can explain.

I’m trying not to be a crabby person when I show up for work. I just want to come in and provide some kind of relief for people as we prepare for all the hard work we’re about to do. I was genuinely in a good mood this morning. All the producers were exchanging ideas for news stories we should be hitting, and we were all more communicative than normal. We even joked about our routines when we work from home. I didn’t put too much stock into it, I was just happy to see everyone in a good place before the show.

About twenty minutes before the show, our host texted us to tell us the prompter was not working on their end. And without a prompter, they cannot read the show. We did not have a backup anchor on set that day, so I went down to the control room a little earlier to make sure things were getting done. Our tech crew was working tirelessly to make sure things were up and running, but I have a feeling this ongoing rain we’ve been seeing on the east coast may have been a factor.

We were getting down to five minutes before the show and still didn’t have prompter. My host was shouting at me, asking what they should do. But I’m not an executive producer nor am I a senior producer. Nothing should come from me. I tried telling them to read the opening monologue from the email they sent me earlier, but they did not hear me. Our director was talking at the same time. And so when the show began, it was the most awkward thing I’ve ever witnessed on our show. They simply stopped speaking, leaving a five second gap of dead air as our theme played. There was nothing more to do, so I told them to bring in the panel to give some semblance of order to the show. Still, the anger and frustration was palpable, and I was getting the brunt of it.

I had a moment of feeling like, this is a person I’ve held a candle for since I’ve known them, and I just felt so defeated because of things completely out of my control. I need not do this again. I don’t always have to raise the torch when people are being unreasonable. Sometimes you just have to let people be mad and get it all out, but you don’t have to accept how they treat you. I’m not snuffing anything out, I’m just upset my feelings got hurt in the process. Then again, it’s not my name on the show. Shit happens, storms blow over. Even if the flame blows out, you can always reignite it at a later date.

What I’ve Discovered: Even Steven Can Be a Prick

Things always seem to even out for me. Sometimes I think I want something more than anything, only to have it fall through. The initial disappointment I feel is nothing when it comes to the ultimate result. I remember wanting so badly to be early admitted to the Tisch School at NYU. My parents and I put together a small documentary about my father growing up in Hell’s Kitchen. It’s still on an old hard drive somewhere. I thought we did an amazing job, but NYU didn’t think so. I remember being so devastated when the rejection letter came in, but even as a near eighteen-year-old, I knew something better was on the horizon. I stuck the rejection letter on the fridge and got to work with other schools. And then I went to arguably an even better film school. So in the end, it all evens out.

It felt like that today, but all in the opposite direction. Everything was evening out, but I didn’t feel good about it. When the whole prompter issue came down, I said to myself “everything is gonna work out.” And it did, it just brough a lot of collateral damage along with it. Stuff that completely made sense, no matter how obnoxious it turned out to be. Like, of course my host yelled at me, I was just the lightning rod for all their ire. Of course my boss wasn’t there at the top of the show to see all this prompter nonsense go down. Naturally one of our guests gave me attitude when I didn’t see her waving her hand during a segment. Like, of course. All these things just made sense, and I felt myself riding it all out instead of dreading the next thing to fall into my lap.

I don’t actively wish for bad things to happen, but today I found out all this evening out doesn’t mean it’s always goin to be a life fluttering through the daisy fields. Some days are worse than others. I’m just lucky that no matter how insane things get for me, Even Steven always prevails.

What I Hope to Find: Brighter Days, Baby

I’m writing this from the hallway of a hospital. We had to bring my mom in after an infection got too scary. She may have to stay here for at least a day or two, but I’m not going until I know she’s safe and comfortable in a room. I’m tired and hungry and haven’t had a nap, but I don’t care. I’m here for my mom. She’ll be okay, we’ll get her home soon. But it’s just another addition to an already murky day.

Even before all this happened, after everything that went down during the show, I had a moment in the restroom that hit me hard enough to make my knees go weak. Down in the control room, I said out loud, “You know what, I’m just gonna become a mom and not have to do this anymore.” It was just out of frustration, even if it’s a legitimate desire I have. But when I was looking in the mirror, the desire hit me so deep, with the twofold knowledge that my mother may not ever see me become one. It hurt. It was just so real. But I fought back the tears and just went back to my desk, taking off a few moments later into the rain, to get home so I could go home.

At this point, all I can really hope for is some meaning out of all these things I go through. To find an endpoint to all of it. The ultimate crescendo so that I may see the other side of things. Somewhere that’s maybe not perfect but that comes with maybe just a little less emotional pain. But perhaps this was the card I was drawn in life. I ain’t gotta clue. All I know is today is another day, another chance to write, another story to tell. It’s only a matter of time before the sun comes up again.

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