POWERFUL PAUSE

My first fight was streamed live in front of thousands of people; then that clip was cut and posted online for thousands of other people to watch over and over.

It’s been about three months since the young man walking home from work decided to rush me during a live shot in Downtown San Diego. I chose to defend myself and took him to the ground in what some have described as a tackle that might have even helped the San Diego Chargers win a game. My photographer helped hold him down until police arrived.

I’ve covered thousands, if not millions of stories, in my career, but I’m still processing this one that happened to me.

At first, I was pissed. How dare this man named BRUNO (true story) try to hurt me. I was proud that he probably will never forget the time a 5’2” angry redhead tackled him to the ground as he tried to run away into the night like a coward after hitting me.

I didn’t sleep for two days after the attack. I was angry and sore –  then the anxiety came: my boss asking me to shoot a crime story at night by myself sent me running into the Skype room at work to have a cry and try to compose myself; a repairman coming to the house while I was alone had me locking myself in my bedroom and texting my husband asking him to come home; I felt skittish walking down the street in the middle of the day by myself if I had to walk past a man. So thanks for that, Bruno.

I was depressed, anxious, and fearful – which is why I decided it was time to pause. 

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One of the hardest things I learned as a storyteller is the power of the pause. It’s hard as a new reporter not to fill the awkward silence during an interview or follow up immediately with another question; seasoned storytellers will tell you that if you keep quiet, sometimes the most powerful things are born out of that silence. Sometimes silence can speak volumes.

So now, with my contract at 10News done, I’m taking some time off. My husband Crosby and I are taking over ownership of a bar in San Diego called The Hole in the Wall. It needs some creative TLC and that’s where I come in.

Perhaps the most exciting thing about finally allowing myself to pause is that I can now work on myself and figure out exactly what I want, what I like, and what I want to do. I’m going to South Africa for the entire month of July with Africa Media for a travel and wildlife photography internship. I’ve never been able to explore DSLR photography because I’ve never had time in between other work shoots. Fingers crossed I can take a picture of an elephant!

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I’m also doing a few NPPA workshops soon, which I hope will help give me direction.

It amazes me how many people I talk to in the news industry who are struggling with crippling anxiety and depression. I hope my choice to take a break will encourage them to look out for their mental and physical health more

Stories are my passion. I love people, and I love writing about them; but for now, I’m content planning trips, getting vaccines, crafting cocktails, catching up with friends, and studying photography.

The best part about hitting pause is when you’re ready to press play again.

 

 

A few side notes: The attack downtown had nothing to do with the Trump story I was covering. The last update I heard was detectives submitted vandalism and battery charges to the DA.

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