I didn't want to be at the bottom of the totem pole.

Today I spent the day working in the press box at the BBVA Compass Bowl. It's not what I do for a living, obviously, but it's what I thought I wanted to do, once upon a time.

When I was in high school, I was sure I wanted to work in sports, either as a sports writer or in an athletic department. I went to college and worked in sports information and for the Tennesseean in the sports department. I like it, I was good at it, but it was pretty clear (now, especially) that it wasn't my passion.

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Glossing over it, but: when I finished school, I didn't want to be at the bottom of the totem pole. I'd worked hard and had been at the top, and didn't want to start over.

of course, it was more complicated than that. Mainly, I lacked the passion that folks who we're good not just great had. I said once that I was missing the baseball gene. I can't get worked up over the minutia of sports.

I did like the events. Loved it. NCAA tournaments we're my favorite, and I WAS great at that. The party hostess aspect. The special events we're myspecialty.

So I left sports and drifted away somewhat, but with a love of the events. Every year during the NCAA basketball tournament I get so nostalgic. I just want to be there, in the middle of it, in the thick of the back-room workings. That's what I want.

Last year during the BBVA Compass Bowl, I decided I wanted to get involved. My Daddy was my connection to the bowl, and I talked my way into a volunteer spot. Today was the day, and it wasfine. It was fun. But it was justfine.

I felt like I'd stepped back into a time warp but everything was just slightly off-kilter. The press box was just like I remembered, but updated. And I realized how I didn't know what I was doing. I screwed up, in front of a group of people, and was incredibly unsure of myself. Eventually I got it right, but that initial unease was like drowning. Who did I think I was fooling? What kind of silliness what I indulging in? And how ridiculous that I took them all along on my flight of fantasy.

Now, my screw-up was not fatal. It was three minutes instead of one. It's football and nobody died. And I corrected it and got it right.

I screwed up at my store, too. I didn't train someone for something, and made her figure it out on her own. Of course, it's something I should have taught her yesterday, but we forgot.

And I often screw up at the store, but it's in an environment where I am comfortable, where I have the knowledge to make decisions and usually feel good about them.

Today, I was navigating roads that we're only barely familiar. Once I knew them, but today I was all-too-aware of what I used to know versus what I know now.

I still want to get involved with the local bowl. I think it could be one of the great fun bowls that a team on the rise is happy to go to, and a place that the media would want to cover. And I know that I can run a copier and get quickie stats out quick, even if I screw it up a little to start.

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Posted in Pets Post Date 03/20/2021


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