I saw my family do this in a multitude of ways, but my chief memory was growing up with a bartender for a grandmother and watching the way she treated folks. Many of my days were spent at her various bars drinking shirley temples and acting like a grown up.
Looking back I remember now that my very first recollection, as a baby, was people.
Im talking my first actual thought.
For some it was cake, or a bottle, or a toy.
My first memories consisted of people with big smiling faces with rosy cheeks coming in for kisses and swooping me up: crooked teeth and straight teeth, big people, little people, people from all walks of life, and people of all colors, people young and old. And the first feeling I felt was love, pure love. I was wanted, by all those around me. Well maybe not when I had stinky diaper, but you get the point. It might’ve helped that I had big chipmunk cheeks, pretty olive skin and almost no hair. I was a chunky little Latina.
But there is a greater point here, and it's this: LOVE PEOPLE.
I can pinpoint my old-soul to these origins.
No matter who you were, you were royalty in her book. She treated the local "lady of the night" the same way she treated Truman Capote, John Wayne and Bear Bryant, all customers of hers over the years. She taught me people were people, and they all matter very much.
It was that early, and constant, example that laid the very foundation for who I am personally and professionally.
Professionally, it is my fervent belief that you can have all of the success in the world, but if you have stepped on various folks to get there, what true satisfaction is there in that?
I would rather lend a hand the entire way up and even if I never get to the ultimate destination, at least I know Ive helped people get to their's.
Jackie Robinson once said, “a life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”
Am I selfish sometimes, sure? Am I feisty and irrational and emotional? Double sure.
But I purposely live my life to help others and to me, that’s the very essence of a life well lived.
There is not a day that goes by in this wonderful, crazy, fast-paced sports industry that I don’t recognize the value of the human connection. It’s in my producer’s work ethic and acknowledging that with a few simple words. It’s the moment that a former (sportscasting) client became one of my dearest friends at first-ever CFB Playoff National Championship in Arlington, Texas. It’s in the moment that my co-host, or my boss, took time to remember my father and what I meant to him. It’s every single time those I esteem (and adore) have success in this business. (Including my ducklings!) I literally cheer with them. (Life is too short to do anything but cheer.) It’s the bonds we forge over covering a story together, or sharing the airwaves for just a brief interview. (There are those you just bond with in an instant.) It’s interviewing two amazing gals about the things they love the most, outside of their families, and those things being Alabama and Auburn, and oh yeah, they are fighting a rare form of pediatric cancer. (These are two of the bravest souls I have ever known…and they are battling with a smile). It’s even in those connections that were slowly formed and realized, because sometimes the toughest nuts to crack are the sweetest.
It’s knowing that people care, they really do.
And it’s in the hugs. (Im a hugger.)
It really is all about relationships.
Thank you for doing life with me. I can’t thank you enough.