Friday, April 30, 2010


Actual footage from Mongolian news broadcast; Patricia Sexton as anchor

What if you...just did it?
From Wall Street to Mongolian TV

If you're like me, you've spent years thinking about it. Worrying about it. Considering its endless implications. Creating Excel spreadsheet scenarios to forecast every imaginable outcome in the event you ever actually worked up the courage to Just-Do-It. And if you're a lot like I was, many years later, you still haven't done it.

But what if you did do it? What if you finally decided to throw in the towel on what's expected of you, instead of what you truly expect from yourself? What if you traded in security for passion? What if, finally, you pursued your dream?

For ten years, I worked on Wall Street in currency sales. It was a job I liked, but didn't love. And like exactly 100% of people working in jobs that they like but don't love, I daydreamed. What if, I always thought, stopping myself at the persistent call of obligations like mortgage, bills, lifestyle.

But then one day I did do it. Suddenly, or so it seemed to everyone but me, I quit my job and landed an internship at a TV station in Mongolia. Moved to Ulaanbaatar for a summer and lived with a family of Mongolian Mormons. And I can hardly believe that I'm telling you this next part because, years on, I can still hardly believe it myself - I was named anchor of the Mongolian national news. And that is what can actually happen if you follow your wildest dream in life.

Of course, I was pretty terrible at what I was trying to do. Just before we went to air that first time, I had a panic attack that can be blamed on a banana. Maybe you don't know this, but bananas are your enemy if you're planning on speaking into a microphone. They turn to paste and stick like glue to your tongue. In fact, try reciting a series of Mongolian names in front of a camera with a mouthful of paste and you'll suddenly understand what I mean. But that aside (oh, and the embarrassing head-bobbing like a buoy on a choppy sea), I can tell you this: there hasn't been a single moment in my life that, for even one second, I have regretted simply trying. I walked away from a lot, and discovered a world I didn't even know was there.

This video is the first of five. I'm posting these now because I've just finished a book about my wild adventure from Wall Street trading floor to Mongolian TV, and I thought the pictures would go well with the story. So each week, I'll be posting some tidbits about my experience anchoring, and my time living in Mongolia. I'd love it if you supported me, and forwarded this blog to anyone who's thought of throwing in the towel and pursuing a life of passion. Even if the bananas seem to be getting in their way.

5 comments:

Andrea Reese said...

Absolutely wonderful! You were a total pro right from your first minute on camera, seriously.

Patricia Sexton said...

Andrea, thank you very much! Wait'll you see the next few clips. In one of them, I'm just coming down off a stomach-pumping session after terrible food poisoning!

fingers said...

That's just too adorable for words.
Loved the odd frown here and there too; so much more effective than patronising editorial.
Your obvious disgust at the Mongolian deforestation problem was totally evident...

Patricia Sexton said...

Fingers, wait'll you hear me reporting on a murder in Parliament. That's one of the upcoming clips. Will post next week. Thanks for your comment. xx

MET said...

Amazing! You are a beautiful blue news anchor from heaven! I love it! Well done you and congratulations!