Worth vs. Wealth

What am I worth? What can my worth get me? Sometimes the answer isn’t always in dollar sign value. Or even material value at that.

I was reminded today, that I’m actually invaluable, and so are you. At the toughest moment in people’s lives, I’m there. When people want to be left alone, I’m there . It’s tough. Not only for me, but for the people I’m trying to talk with. Yesterday, I had both the pleasure and pain of tracking down a family touched by murder. On Sunday morning, a family of five was killed in San Carlos Park — an area of Fort Myers, FL. What we know is only what deputies have been able to tell us — the father of the family shot and killed his three baby girls, all under the age of ten, and then shot himself. The sheriff said it’s one of the toughest crime scenes he’s seen. For me, it definitely ranks in the top ten hardest tragedies to cover.

I came to find the family didn’t have very close relatives in Florida, at least the mother didn’t. So, I had to find family via social media. They were very nice, sweet and open with me. For hours, I consoled, shared information with and tried to find out more about  who this beautiful family was. Eventually, I landed an interview with a sister flying in from out of town to identify the bodies. (The worst part of all of this). And when I felt the lowest, that my job had very little worth, one of the family members told me this,

“God can use you so we can get some of the many answers we seek.”

fivekilled

Man did that make me feel good. Out of all this darkness, this man was able to not only stay strong, but remind me of my worth. I believe we are all put on this Earth for a reason. It doesn’t matter how much others think we are worth, we have to believe in ourselves, our jobs and the paths we’ve committed to. I’m worth much more than I lead myself to think, and thanks to this man, I am remembering that my wealth doesn’t only come every two weeks, but everyday. Every time I touch someone’s life with the stories I share.

 

#NoFilter

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This is what I stare at 80% of my week down here in Fort Myers, FL. An outstanding landscape of water, boats and the sky painted any color you could imagine. It’s my breath of fresh air, peace of mind and most importantly my home.

As I write this I’m sitting here at Moss Marine waiting for what the biz calls “exclusive” video. It’s not coming for another hour. But that’s okay, look what I have to look out onto as I wait!

I knew I would have to travel around as I work to become a better reporter. And I really must say, I couldn’t ask for a better home for a few years.

Transforming

andrea1The Move:

I’ve wanted to blog about my journey to Florida so bad! But I’ve also waited very patiently, knowing I’d have a lot more to share once I had time under my belt in my new home.

So far, so good.

Have you ever had the feeling you were just meant to be in a certain place? Well, then you know how I’m feeling.

It’s been a little over a month since I drove more than 2,000 miles away from home, to Fort Myers, FL. It’s been a whirlwind. It’s been scary at times. It’s been fun. But most of all it’s been exactly what I’ve been looking for, for years.

Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to stretch my wings and fly away from the ‘norm’. Now, here I am.

New Job: 

As many of you know, the reason why I came down to Fort Myers is because of my new job with NBC2. It’s been the best decision of my life. The people, the atmosphere and the pace is exactly what I need. In news, it’s not always easy to find your grove, or ‘fit in’ right away. That’s because this business is very fast, very vigorous and very stressful. People don’t have time to coddle you or take the time to make you feel at home when you first get in. It’s go, go, go. And that’s how it has been, with exceptions. I’ve had my questions answered, I’ve had my work critiqued, and I’ve been pushed on occassion and that’s good! It’s exactly what I need, most people need, to get better at the craft.

I really can’t wait to keep chugging on my journey here.

New Home: 

I’m still getting used the palm trees, the warm weather in February and the fact that no one is actually FROM Florida. Slowly but surely as I wake up each day it feels more like ‘my place’. I admit, I do feel content. Like I said before everything feels right to me and that’s important. I’ve always been told to follow my instincts.

Right now, I’m living in a one bedroom apartment, very close to work. It’s just a quick trip down the road. Although, compared to Fargo, there’s tons more traffic and a lot more stop lights to get through before actually making it to my desk on time!

Also, soon I’m thinking about getting a puppy! I’ve wanted one for who knows how long and finally this apartments accepts pets:) Ugh, can’t wait!!

Love:

No. Not what you think I’m about to say. My love for my home state, Minnesota has not changed! In fact, moving farther away has definitely made my heart grow fonder for my favorite piece of frozen tundra. The lakes, the people, the snow and yes, the cold, I miss it all. But don’t worry, I’ll be home soon!

Hope you all can follow my journey as I take on this great adventure here in Florida!!

XOXO

Life is but only temporary.

It’s a rush. We hustle. We don’t stop to think, breathe, sometimes to even care.image

My younger sister recently posted something which struck a cord with me. She is striving to be a better person by doing nice things for others. Since I read her post, her words have inspired me to do good. If you take the time to stop, think, breathe maybe then we’ll begin to care. And not just for your families or our close friends. But for people we don’t even know. Spread your love and even if it’s not returned at least you’ll know there’s just that much more love in the world.

Whether it be an act of kindness, an extra buck for a person in need or a simple hug, everyone needs love.

We only have a short time to give, because life is but only temporary.

Jacie’s post: 

“Even if its the littlest thing. What’s gunna hurt ? You will walk away feeling better about yourself.. and that person you helped WILL remember !!! 

I had chosen my new years resolution . I’m going to help people, even if i don’t kno them– help as much as possible 
I believe it can change a person
Be the better person(:
#2014 BRING IT ONN!!”

Stuck in Transition.

As Americans, we are blessed to make our own decisions. But sometimes it flat out stinks. Why? Because we never truly know if they are right or wrong decisions until, well, we’ve made them. Living and learning is always the lesson. And it’s the hardest one.

transition

Right now, like this picture, I have a million and a half different options. Going one way, or heading down a different path could lead to two completely different lives. Maybe I’m over thinking it. Either way I feel as if I’m stuck in transition.

My heart and head want very different things and when it comes down to it, both of them have to make only one decision.

Regardless of where I end up in life, in my career, I think either one would be fine. But when is fine enough? I want more out of this thing called ‘life’.

Now, only to find which way that is.

Challenge: What do you believe in?

Today, I was asked the question, what do you believe in?fall

Seems so simple to answer. But, If you sit and ask yourself, truly, what do I believe in? It becomes much harder to come up with a solid answer.

Sure, I believe in family, in God, in values, morals and love. But is that enough? Should I have something which I truly stand by no matter what? What do I represent?

Now, it becomes more than finding the right answer. I think, no, I believe, I’m going to make it my mission to find something I feel so strongly about that no one can rock me.

So here’s my challenge to you, what do you believe in? What do you love so much that you would fight to the death for?

We Care. I Promise.

536700_605178906170046_1043167701_nAs reporters, we cover so much news it’s sometimes hard to pull back and think outside of the box. We teach ourselves to become unattached to our interviews/characters/situations, because during hard news we can’t, we won’t and I refuse to be the cryer when something bad happens.

Then, there’s days like today which push me to realize we (newsies) need to ask ourselves “Is this too graphic?”.

I posted a picture of an accident which was pretty gnarly. I knew the man would be okay, but we didn’t have a statement to confirm the fact. As soon as I could I uploaded the picture showing the mangled vehicle but viewers were not pleased.

I followed up later, after the interview, explaining the driver would be alright. Still, people were not happy, completely bewildered that I uploaded the picture.

Although, I still believe I’m in the right, things like this make me realize how out of touch we reporters can be sometimes.

Because in all reality, we do care. I promise.

Ready, Revved up and Rarin’

coffee

I am telling you, there has to be a coffee/caffeine to tweet ratio. Every time I down a cup (or two, well okay, three cups) of coffee I swear my fingers speed up and my brain goes on hyper drive. As if I don’t already go crazy all over social media without it, after I have my favorite dose of joe it’s like I have ADD to the max.

But hey, that’s what reporters are suppose to be like, right? Running all over with endless energy always chasing the next story:)

By the way, YES,  I just had my first cup of coffee.

Focus. It’s not just for cameras.

Focusing Isn't Just for Cameras

Focusing Isn’t Just for Cameras

It’s not just for your camera, that great shot or for the big game. Focusing is something a lot of us struggle with. But, for me I find it’s also one of the most important challenges we should strive to be better at.

There are days when news is hard, emotional and down right draining. I took this picture on one of those days.

Although the story was sad, a community was hurting and I was shooting all alone, I remembered to focus on what I loved about that day. And for being a long-time Minnesotan I knew the answer. The weather! There’s not a lot of time to savor the 75+ degree days where we have light wind and low humidity.

Well, this picture captured my happiness to be shooting on an utterly perfect day in North West MN.

So, here’s to focusing, for whatever you might want to zoom in on.