February 2022 marked my 16th year in broadcast news. I’ve worked in markets across the midwest and south, moving around as a primary TV News Anchor, reading the news and telling interesting stories of inspirational people along the way.
Like most of us, COVID forced me into deep reflection. For the first time in my adult life my calendar was clear and I had time to think about what I really wanted. What was I grateful for? What was I missing? Those thoughts came in concert with the birth of my third child, when I felt wrapped in a cocoon of love and acceptance.
My return to work in 2020, post-leave, laid siege to my newfound clarity. The stress of meetings and daily deadlines crept back in and the pressure to perform was once again ever-present. But this time felt different. I now bristled at the script I’d been living for so many years. I knew I had changed in 2020 and going back to the status-quo felt in opposition to the person I had become.
I realized in those early days of 2021 I needed to rewrite the script of my life. I began a deep dive and intense excavation of who I was and what I brought to this world. I realized I was tired of talking about people on the news who were making a difference, when I -myself- was not making a difference.
I wanted to change that. But how?
During this time, I received an email from the Alumni Association at Florida State University offering a program that would help counsel people through major change. I thought “I got nothing to lose” and signed up.
In the months I waited for my session to begin, I continued developing what I had landed on during that time of exploration. I was creating a video podcast focused on helping people find purpose and meaning in their lives. It would be entirely based around my love of having deep, one-on-one conversations with people who have wisdom to share. Because of my lengthy television background and my connections with people within media production, pulling it off didn’t feel so overwhelming.
At the start of the Mission Collaborative program, I began workshopping my podcast plans with my small group. Each week I would do the assignments with my new podcast in mind, then share my work in our meeting. I received great feedback from my fellow collaborators who varied in age and industry. I even incorporated some of their ideas into the plans and promotion of my podcast.
Four months after our fellowship wrapped, I launched all 13 episodes from the first season in a big release. I was so proud to share it with my fellow group members because they had offered so much support during the creation. Their encouragement in such a crucial development phase meant the world to me.
Famed children’s book author Mo Willems says “when you find yourself in the wrong story, you can leave.”
But for me, leaving wasn’t necessary. My problem was solved with addition, not subtraction. By adding something that brought meaning and used my greatest strengths, I was able to design exactly what I wanted in my life: purpose.
Lauren Lowrey is an Emmy-Award winning TV News Anchor at WSMV, the NBC affiliate in Nashville, TN. Her work has garnered awards in stations throughout the midwest and the south. In February 2022, Lauren launched AMPstigator, a long-form video podcast all about finding purpose. She interviews experts in the field and everyday people whose lives serve as accessible examples of purpose. Watch full episodes on YouTube, or listen on Apple, Spotify, or Google. Lauren lives in Nashville with her husband and three young children.