It didn’t start off as my dream job. It started off as a low paying trial run to see if people liked what I did.
So first off, thank you.
I’d freelanced in radio on CBC for a decade but I’d never hosted and produced my very own show so it was a big leap and I was so terrified I got physically sick. I couldn’t sleep. I remember my husband driving me to my first day and I stopped being able to see. I started crying “I can’t see straight, how can I read the computer?” I contemplated asking him to take me to the emergency room, as an excuse to not show up. That’s how scared I was.
So I decided to start at the simplest place. I would ask my radio hero Bill Richardson to teach me how to be a radio host- live. I didn’t have to pretend I didn’t know what I was doing. I could cop to it (which is also owning it) which is a far less terrifying place to be. “Good evening, I’m Emelia Symington Fedy and I have no idea what I’m doing here so I’ve brought on my radio guru to show me how to do my job…right now. So cuddle up and listen in to Bill Richardson on the very first ever Trying to be Good radio show…“
And it went well. And my nervousness and complete candour was probably a little endearing.
So then I thought “To be useful to others, I can only ask questions about what most fascinates and drives me.”
My mother had died just a few years earlier and she was always on my mind. Her best friend had also recently died and so I contacted her son. I used to be his camp counsellor and now he was a United Church Minister. We spent an hour together talking about our moms. He told me things I never knew about her. We talked about radical compassion and profound grief. Wade Lifton, this little kid I used to know, now a man, spoke to me as a friend and as a person of great faith. Let’s call it a cathartic interview on every level.
Ok. So I like to go deep. This was clear from the very beginning. I go there and then my guest follows and then you get to listen and join in. I’ve always been interested in the why? why?? why???? Once I took a battery of online tests to see if I had a mental illness and I was diagnosed as a general depressive with a general anxiety disorder, mild OCD and mid-range borderline personality dysfunction with general obsessive compulsive tendencies and a propensity towards seasonal defective disorder. Do you see what I’m getting at?
So next I sat down with my friend and colleague Jan Derbyshire who is open about her mental illness journey from hearing voices to self-medicating. and it was one of the most stunningly brave, beautiful and candid interviews I’ve had to date. Stigma. Support. Getting deeply in tune with oneself and facing the cold hard truth. My jaw still drops when I think about her story and what a gift it was to hear it.
I’ll leave it there for now and as the winter rolls out I’ll post more interviews. The plan is for TTBG Radio to be a podcast by the dreariest part of winter so hang on tight…more heart and guts from the best people I know around coming soon…
They are about 50 min each. Enjoy. I’m so proud.
And if you want to pitch me an interview idea @ firstname.lastname@example.org feel free. What drives you? What are you longing for? What is most meaningful to you? Get on TTBG radio. I’d love to sit down with all your hearts and guts.