Must have been my time … and place


This May, I celebrated 25 years working in my primary profession – TV news. If I were to host a “silver jubilee” event to celebrate this multiple-of-five career milestone, and shared that TV news was the last thing I ever thought I’d be doing when I grew up, someone in attendance might say, “It must be where you are supposed to be.”

“It must be fate.”

“It’s meant to be.”

“It must have been his time.” (Unfortunately uttered for lack of better words at funerals.)

We seem to use these phrases as a strange way of trying to explain what seems inexplicable. To me, 25 years of doing anything is inexplicable. How did this even happen? I was going to be an actress, or a lawyer, or a novelist, maybe a public relations person. Television news, and certainly reporting the weather, were not on my radar (pun only intended if it made you smile).

When I was in high school, I used to compete in drama tournaments around the state of Louisiana. These same events also had categories for debate and broadcasting. One year, my theater teacher urged me to enter the competition’s TV broadcasting category. Based on the notes written on my score sheets, it was a disaster. One judge went so far as to deliver an edict: “Miss LoBue, TV broadcasting is not for you.”

High school forensic tournament judges’ expertise be damned, I guess I am where I’m supposed to be. My first TV job was, after all, the result of an odd series of quirky events.

I was working in radio, when a man appeared in the booth one afternoon and asked me to interview for a “weather girl” job upstate, in Casper, WY. I informed him of my unfortunate broadcast TV competition history. I let him know that I had frequently fallen asleep in science-related classes. None of this mattered. A professor encouraged me to agree to the interview “for the experience.”

When I got to the TV station, they put me in front of the infamous green screen. The first word out of my mouth on that audition tape is not fit for print. I was flustered and completely out of my element. The guys in the control room told the news director to hire me. He did. I figured out the green screen. I studied meteorology. Somehow, it all just happened.

Here I sit, 25 years later, feeling incredibly blessed to still be working in this “temporary” career. I am so grateful that I quit questioning “why” and “how” and just realized that this must be my place. Does it really matter how or why I got here? You can ruin the best things by questioning how, just as much as you can be devoured by the bad things if you spend too much time wondering why.

Green Day’s song “Good Riddance” is now running through my mind. I always thought this would be a perfect funeral song. Who says “good riddance” at a funeral, even if they are thinking it? It still may be better than, “Well, when your time is up …”

Ultimately, the song applies to just about anything we are not able to immediately understand – these twists of fate that dot our lives.

In the words of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, “It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right. I hope you had the time of your life.”

I still am. And it doesn’t matter how or why.


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