Present Tense

Let’s talk about me…again.

What happens when you aren’t who you thought you wanted to be?  For me, this is one of those tossing-around-in-bed-at-2-in-the-morning revelations that can bring on instant panic, when I should be getting my beauty rest.  Is the middle of the night the best time to ponder who the hell you are?  Probably not, but at least there are few distractions.

I’ve spent the past 25+ years building a media career, primarily as a radio host.  I’ve been a reporter, a news anchor, a talk show host on both commercial and public radio and for the past 12 years, a morning radio host in Denver on Mix 100.

The Dom and Jane Show has exceeded my wildest expectations for success, personal and professional growth and influence.  My radio career has shaped and informed who I have become, which is what has kind of pulled me up short.  Am I who I set out to be?

In a word, yes….and no.  Nothing is simple, is it?  I’ve never quite felt comfortable as ‘public figure’, although it’s part of the deal when you enter and nurture a media career.  Kind of like the celebrities who whine about all of the attention they get.  Look, everyone who goes into a media/entertainment career wants to be seen or heard.  I’ve worked very hard to be heard for many years.

In a media career, you’re always pushed, either internally or externally to do more to expose yourself and promote yourself.  (See: Ryan Secrest).  I’ve never really enjoyed that aspect of my job; I just want to talk on the radio. Period.  I’m good at it, I enjoy it and it’s been financially and personally fulfilling.

I believe I’m at the peak of my career right now and that it will likely wind down over the next few years.  I am no longer hungry for more success, more attention, more influence.  I’ve accepted and embraced my professional situation thanks to some introspection, therapy and spiritual study.  And oh, yeah, turning 50 knocked some sense into me as well.   I feel as if I’m in control and proceeding on my terms, which is a big deal, but I still have personal ‘stuff’ to work out.

I’ve also been exploring how much my job seeps into me; how much of “me”, is due to my job?  I’ve been paid to talk….and talk….and talk for more than half of my life.  I’m expected to have an opinion, a perspective, a viewpoint, a solution, a story, a comment;  all of which makes it really hard to shut up, listen and learn, once I leave work.  My radio persona is not welcome or healthy in my personal relationships.

When we’re young, we look at our lives spread out in front of us and begin to make choices; some good, many not so good.  We envision our personal and professional lives, usually with a huge dose of fantasy tossed in.  That’s the beauty of being young.  The problem is that as we look back, we realize that how we got from point A, at the ripe old age of 25, to points B, C, D and beyond, is NEVER the way we plotted it out.  Who you want to be at 25, is rarely a good idea at 35, 45 or 55.

So, are you who you wanted to be?  Or are you better?  Or different?  For me, it’s time to embrace my professional success, but at the same time, step back from it in the way it has influenced my personal relationships. For 20+ hours a week, I’ll try to come up with something to say, but personally, my goal is to shut up, listen and learn.

January 16, 2011 Posted by | Musings | 6 Comments


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