Bathroom Break Required

by Alex Arata

I’ve never been a terribly confident person. Now, sure, if my close friends ask me for the millionth time to do my tried and true Alanis Morissette impression, I’m not going to waiver. Compare that, however, to getting up on a stage and performing, or introducing myself to a classroom full of strangers, or co-anchoring an entire election night’s worth of coverage, and you’ve got a situation that’ll leave my hands shaking. Despite all this, I actually somehow put myself in that last position. On real, live radio, I signed up to co-host five hours’ worth of impromptu discussions, candid interviews, and–oh God, the horror–ad libbing. In my mind, I’d be facing my worst fears–or so I thought.

Okay, so everyone has an opinion, or at least most of us do. I am particularly noted as commonly having strong ones. However, I worked hard the night of the election to remain unbiased. I tried not to code my language or reveal something in the tone of my voice, and in the early stages of the night, I thought I was doing a pretty good job. It wasn’t like the candidate I truly and honestly feared, was going to win… right?

Wrong, apparently.

I learned a lot more than I had expected whilst covering this election. And one of those things is sometimes, if what you’re covering is going to make you lose your cool, you simply have to go to the bathroom on one of your fleeting breaks, have a three minute cry, and then get back to work. This was a valuable lesson for me, and one I plan to hold on to. After a half hour, my nerves were overcome, but my emotions were another story altogether. What I took away from this experience that night is that, if I can just hold it for a little while (and keep holding, and keep holding even longer if I must), there’s nothing wrong with an emotional release–as long as I still get the job done.

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Election Night Anchors starting to the far right:  Alex Arata, Dylan Buchweitz and National Desk anchor Maggie McCoy.
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