I drove around town, tears streaming down my face. What was I doing here? My husband had just started a new job in Dallas, so we decided to commute. I went to OKC by myself. Along with my family, I’d left a good job freelancing at Fox Sports Southwest in Dallas, and my home state of Texas, which I love. How in the world did I end up in Oklahoma?? Was I crazy? This Texas grad felt a little out of place, and I’m not sure I’d ever felt that alone.
The only thing I knew that could fix my current situation: pizza and a bottle of wine. So, I put both in my map and tried to navigate my new city. Of course, I hit a few obstacles along the way. The pizza I had ordered was from a gas station: whoops. I couldn’t find a wine opener at the wine store. In Oklahoma, they don’t sell cork screws at a liquor store. Hmmm. When I was about fed up with my idea, I realized I had bought a bottle that had a screw off top. Go figure. I went home to settle in and take a breath.
For the first couple of years; I worked every game, hosted the weekly show; Thunder Insider, and reported on every event for the website. I was away from home and my family A LOT. It was a fun experience, but it was a major change. I was happy and sad, but I knew I was a part of something really special.
As the seasons went on, and my little family grew, the Thunder continued to work with me. I wanted to be a great wife, a great mom, and still work. But how? They helped me figure out how to find a balance. That is so difficult to do these days.
Now, six years later, I keep going back. I live in Dallas, but I also work in OKC. Late night drives, early morning flights, sleepovers at the airport – I pretty much do whatever it takes to be where I need to be, when I need to be there. Why??
Well, what started as an experiment turned into a dream job.
There’s just something about Oklahoma City. If you’ve been to a game at Chesapeake Energy Arena, you can feel it. I get chills just writing about it. Now, I may have horrible hearing by the time I’m 40, but hey, it’s worth it. It’s loud, it’s crazy, it’s unique.
It’s the people who work at the arena that smile every time they see you. It’s the fans you get to know by name, because they come to every game. It’s the prayer that’s still said every night. It’s the players and the organization and all the people in it that have become like family to me.
Through tough times, late nights, pregnancy, having a baby and even little things like flat tires at 2 a.m. coming home from the airport; my work family always looks out for me. When being on the road is tough, they make it feel like my other home.
That’s the thing about OKC.
I came for a year, and ended up staying for six.