Where I Wanted to Be in 10 Years
On April 5, 2016, one of my lifelong dreams came true.
Until now, I had faced so many challenges and setbacks that I convinced myself that it just wasn’t God’s plan for me.
In my pageant days, they would always ask the same question, “where do you see yourself in 10 years?” and my answer was always the same, “I want to be a network anchor.” For as long as I can remember it was always my dream; I was going to be like Katie Couric. She was my idol. She was young, she was fresh, and she was from Virginia like me. I did everything I could to stick to that path; I was a journalism major in college, I took all of my internships with local news stations during the summer, and I thought this is it, I’m on my way. Then somewhere along my journey, I went off track.
My first attempt to break into the industry was through the Miss USA pageant. I said to myself, “this is going to be your way in. This opportunity will open many doors.” But even after returning home as a runner up, I wasn’t going to let my dream die. Instead, I picked myself up and decided to move to Los Angeles. Needless to say that also didn’t go as I expected. Within a week I was engaged, married within a year and expecting my first child four months later. Who would have thought that nine months later I would be moving out of my home because my marriage was in such a difficult place.
Still, I didn’t give up.
With the advice from a friend, I took up acting and things started taking off, but then boom, I met Emmitt. Three years later I’m off track again, and moving to Dallas with my new husband.
I came to Dallas with the belief that I would be a big fish in a small pond, with opportunities piled at my feet, yet there was only one morning show I was dying to be a part of “Good Morning Texas.” No matter how hard I tried, there were limited anchor/reporter spots available and the door was always closed. From there, my life took on a different shape, and between the Cowboys, Dancing with the Stars, moving to Arizona, and having children back to back, my dream remained on hold.
I had given up.
Sure enough, a few years later I traveled with Emmitt for his segment on “Good Morning America” and I was prepared just to stand on the sidelines and support him. Moments later I found myself face to face with Diane Sawyer. I confessed to her that being an anchor on GMA was my lifelong dream, but in my mid-to-late 30’s I feared it was too late for me. She turned to me and said, “oh no. I didn’t get this job till I was 54. It is not too late for you my dear.” She had me sit in her seat and I almost lost my mind. Sitting in that chair and being able to visualize my dream becoming a reality was such a defining moment for me. I still have the handwritten note she sent me, thanking me for a bottle of my perfume she mentioned she liked. It’s served as a reminder to me that there were still many possibilities ahead.
One of the most important pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten was from Pastor Cheryl Brady about not giving up on your dreams. I remember sitting on a flight with Emmitt, listening to her DVD which shared this advice: so many people feel like just because it hasn’t happened on their terms that it’s not going to happen. If God put a dream in your heart and it’s truly from him and you submit it to him, it will happen but in due season. It was that message that truly made me reclaim my dream to do television. It became apparent to me that things don’t always happen in the way we want them to but if it really is your life’s purpose, and truly is God’s plan for you, it will happen in one way or another.
Within two weeks of that call, I was approached to do a local morning show in Dallas. It was not the network show, but it provided me with such incredible training, and truly helped me get to a place where I could say I felt a little more prepared to take on what was in store for me.
Throughout my journey, I realized that life was full of second chances, and soon after came upon another dream; helping others recognize the second chance moments in their own lives.
Last week, God finally answered my prayers and granted me the opportunity to share my story with the world. In May, I will be on Good Morning America discussing the launch of my book Second Chances, and sharing my journey to finding myself and following my dreams. God has truly blessed me with so many different people and resources to help me achieve my biggest dreams and goals. My life has truly come full circle, and I know this is only the beginning of what He has in store for me.
This journey to following my dreams, has definitely had its ups and downs and constant detours. If you are like me at some point in your life you stop dreaming to avoid disappointment, hurt or being let down when your dreams weren’t coming true. However, I’ve come to the realization that sometimes our dreams happen in the most unexpected ways. I’d like to impart on you a few of the wisdoms I’ve taken away with me.
You cannot let people define what God has for you. Only God can do that.If you have a dream, don’t give up. It may not happen when you want, or exactly the way you see it, but it will happen when you’re ready for it.We dream too small sometimes. More often than not, God has a much larger plan in store for you.
Many of us tend to let life get in the way of our dreams. We let the rejections put this fear within us that we give up on reaching just a little higher. Yet I’ve come to realize that every no is just a test of our spirit, pushing us to try as many routes as possible to get where we want to be. For me, it was realizing this new dream, this bigger dream that has allowed me to accomplish a goal I’ve had since I was a little girl. And for you, it can be the same. Pursue every avenue, test every path, you never know just what will help unlock that final door. More often than not, what God has in store for you is far greater than what you could have ever imagined or planned for yourself.