I’ve seen this word a couple times this past week “reboot.”
Once it was used as a headline to a story in a magazine about Katie Couric. She was being interviewed about her life, different transitions in her career and her latest move in starting her new talk show. She said something along the lines of life is a series of reboots.
I really get that.
I think about when I was younger before marriage and kids. My plan was to go to college, move to New York and actually be a version of Katie Couric or Diane Sawyer. I’d travel the world, meet amazing people and tell stories of all kinds to a huge TV audience on my show that would be like a 20/20 or Dateline.
And for a time, I was on the road to that life, so I thought. I went to college, had internships at a local TV station, started a full-time job as a reporter right out of college. I worked really, really hard to get to where I believed I belonged, doing work that everyone would be interested in. During this timeframe of my early 20s, I made no money, but it didn’t matter because I believed all the struggles were necessary stepping stones.
But life came along and had a different plan. I got married and had two daughters. So, I had to reboot.
I knew I couldn’t just quit my dream completely of being a professional writer and reporter and doing work that I believed really mattered. I had worked so hard to even go to college (I had all those student loans to pay back), how could I just quit?
So while living in a suburb of Milwaukee with two little girls and Tony, my husband who worked long hours, I began writing for local newspapers from home. I recall bouncing a baby in a baby chair with my foot, so she wouldn’t cry, as I had my hands on a computer keyboard and a phone wedged between my ear and shoulder interviewing a local politician. I was terrified she would cry and I would not seem professional to this man on the other end of the phone!
So as time went on, I thought, OK, Milwaukee is a great area for news and people, with great schools (now that kids are part of this new reboot). I’m making wonderful contacts and building a good reputation here, so I then planned for a life as a cheesehead. Things were going along pretty well for a few years.
Then, another reboot.
Tony was transferred to Indianapolis and of course we went along and set up a new life in a nice suburb. I once again found the local paper and so on. But this time after just one year, a sudden reboot.
Tony was transferred to St. Louis and we all moved to a very nice suburb in St. Charles County Mo. I again found the biggest daily paper and a great magazine to write for, from home. We settled into a nice home, pretty neighborhood and looked forward to the girls attending great schools. Then guess what? After two years, another reboot.
We relocated again, this time to a suburb of Chicago where we have been now for 10 years. I followed my same steps in rebooting, set up shop with the biggest newspaper in town and a couple magazines. The girls are in great schools and enjoying a wonderful childhood with friends and activities allowing them to grow, mature and be amazing young adults. And we have added one cat and two dogs to our family.
So it’s been pretty calm now as far as where we live. There have been some minor career reboots, but I’m still writing and telling great stories.
As I look back on what is now 20 years since graduating college, two decades away from that young girl with a wandering spirit and lots of ambition who thought she’d be on TV alongside Diane and Katie, I wonder … . Where is she? What would have been?
I truly think I am where I am supposed to be today. I believe that although at times it was challenging and exhausting, rebooting my life every few years has strengthened who I am. I know that I am nowhere near where I thought I’d be in my life today, but I’m still here. And I’m doing OK. No, better than OK.
I know there will be more reboots down the road. The one thing I can always count on in life is there will always be change. But I can handle it!
Oh the other “reboot” I saw was for a boot sale at a local fashion store!
I do need to go get some new boots.