When I parked on Concord Street at the edge of Waterfront Park, I fell in love with Charleston all over again. I thought what I always think when I go downtown: "Why don't I come here more often?" I noted how the grassy patch near my parking space was a perfect spot for a picnic. The harbor, so close I could almost touch it.
I walked down the sidewalk and was greeted by Quintin Washington. (Actually, we did this sort of running hug thing, because I've known him for years.) Then, we took our seats on the park bench in front of his Flip camera and tripod, and we got started.
I met Quintin years ago, when I worked for the local TV news and he was a teenager. Often, he would show up on the scene of breaking news. If a live truck was there, he was there, too. His passion for journalism was so refreshing. Today, Quintin is doing his thing on YouTube.
It's rare that I'm the one being interviewed. I'm the one with all the questions. It's strange being on the other side. Quintin had done his homework and asked me everything, about leaving TV, about this blog, about the memoir-in-progress.
When we were finished, relief washed over me. Not because the interview was over, but because of how easily I told my truth. How processed it all felt.
All the writing I've done here on the blog—since 2008—has been so therapeutic. And coming from someone who has spent actual dollars and actual hours sitting in actual therapy, I can tell you that writing my story, here, has gotten me where I am today.Telling you my story has led me to this good place where I feel like I have closure.
If you'd like to watch the video, here are the highlights:
1:24 We talk about "the book" and the real reason I'm writing it
2:39 Quintin asks me if writing this blog is harder than writing for news. I laugh. Then I answer.3:51 He asks me if it was difficult to leave news. Hint: yes
5:30 I explain what success means to me now
6:30 Quintin asks me what everyone asks, "Do you miss it?"
8:10 A loud plane or chopper flies over, just as he asks me about the days before I left TV. 8:27 It quiets down and I tell him the story.
Then we spent some time going down memory lane, all the way back to high school and memories of growing up in Charleston.
17:30 I take on the "finish this sentence challenge", talk about my kids, and my theme song for my future. And somewhere in there, we get attacked by a mosquito, which made me rethink my love for Charleston.
But when I walked back to the car, and I soaked in the glorious view, I swooned all over again. That part is not on camera. And wow, I really talk with my hands.