ADVENTURE: Meeting outrageously interesting people, finding the best sunset spots, and driving across part of the country……all in the name of reality TV.
WEEK OF: September 1-7
WHERE: The Midwest
I will admit, this week I didn’t go on any incredible adventures in my spare time. The thing is, I haven’t had a hell of a lot of spare time lately.
You see, I’m in the middle of a five week work trip that is taking me around the good ole Midwest to several places I’ve never been before and has given me the chance to meet all kinds of new, interesting people. So, I’ve decided to take the opportunity this week to be grateful for my job and the crazy fun adventures that it allows me to have.
To start, I am so lucky that I have a really weird and unique job that is ever-changing and ever-challenging: I’m a reality TV producer. While that may sound somewhat lofty and glamorous to some (and absolutely vile and lowly to others), I can assure you that it is very much like any other job in the sense that it requires hard work, and lots of it.
At the moment, an average day for me is usually 10-12 hours of filming plus an hour for lunch, and for the most part I’m on my feet, running around with my head on a swivel trying to be present and focused on the task at hand while also trying desperately to be one step ahead and prepared for whatever unforeseen obstacles (and there are many) that could arise at any moment. I conduct interviews, work with camera crews to get the right footage to cover the story that I need to get and control the flow of the day to make sure we don’t go into overtime, among many other things.
It is a job for someone with a lot of energy who is willing to sacrifice much of their personal life and time for the chance to tell the stories of other normal (or not-so-normal) people. Whoever does this job must love it, otherwise the hours and the large amount of mental and creative energy it expends would only be tedious at best and soul-crushing at it’s worst.
Luckily, I happen to love what I do.
Despite the hard work and hours it requires, I love the challenge my job presents, both creatively and physically, and I’m so grateful for the places that it takes me and the people I get to meet. For instance, part of my job is shooting all the major sites and landmarks in each city and picking spots for “day to night” timelapses that we go to, so in the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen more beautiful sunsets than I have the rest of the year.
I’ve also met some beautiful and interesting people from all walks of life, from the local news anchor in Green Bay, who I randomly got to celebrate her 26th birthday with in a local bar, to the cab driver from Ethiopia who told me he moved to Minneapolis from the desert because he wanted to live in snow because he once saw a picture of it and thought it looked pretty, to the fast-talking, flamboyant waiter at the Chicago stuffed pizza chain Giordano’s who patiently explained to me how it was possible that the restaurant “makes their own beef” despite being in the middle of a city with no cows for miles. That last one was a bit weird actually, and his explanation didn’t really make any sense, but it was definitely memorable.
I’ve also had the chance with my current job to explore a bit on and off the beaten path as we travel around the Midwest to a new city each week. I trounced around in a massive cornfield in Indiana, spent my birthday shopping, drinking, bowling, and riding roller coasters at the Mall of America, and wandered around the waterfront in Chicago on what might be the most beautiful day I’ve ever spent in that city. All of these experiences I never would have had if I worked a 9-to-5 job in an office in the same place doing the same thing, day in and day out.
I’m very grateful for my job and the adventures it allows me, even if sometimes they are a little absurd…..like when I had to check 54 cases of gear on to a Southwest flight and stare into the face of a baggage handler who couldn’t believe I needed to travel with that much stuff.
So this week, I’m embracing the work adventures and remembering how lucky I am that I get to enjoy them now, while I’m young and able.
Hell, I’m lucky to have a job at all!
Cheers to being grateful this week….and fingers crossed I’m able to find the time to seek out some adventures outside of work next week!