Often when I think of the term quintessential, a few women come to mind, including Emmy Awarding-winning talk show host Tamron Hall. If you've followed her journey, she has had several career highs and lows, but what has sustained her longevity and relatability to women of all ages is her forthright nature and commitment to journalistic integrity. From being a  general assignment reporter in her home state to co-anchoring the Today Show and now hosting and executive producing her daytime television talk show, Tamron Hall Show, she truly exemplifies the word magic in the phrase Black Girl Magic. And at 51-years-old it's fair to say she continues to rise above and beyond. 

21Nintey virtually chatted with the Texas native to talk about unconditional self-love, personal lessons she's learned throughout the pandemic, and upcoming projects, plus much more. 

Dontaira Terrell: I want to start by asking, how are you doing today? Right now, at this moment?

Tamron Hall: I am doing great! I just had a mammogram today, and everything is okay! Other than that, I'm happy to be where I am at this moment, just talking to you.

DT: That's great to hear! Can you tell me more about how your partnership with SC Johnson (OFF!) came to be? 

TR: Last summer, my son, who's now two, was bit by a mosquito. I put him down for his nap, and when he woke up, his face was swollen. I had no idea what was going on, and as you can imagine, I was terrified. I called his pediatrician, and asked 'What's going on?' We took him to get checked, and as it turns out, he has a severe allergy to mosquitoes. And I thought, 'What am I going to do?'

The doctor said to get an insect repellent, and so I went into the drug store, and I found the OFF! SC Johnson family brand. I started using that on my son, and it's been a game-changer for us! Also, I love being outside. I'm a Texas girl, and I am out, and about the minute it's above 70 [degrees]. I love it! And I want my son to be able to enjoy the outdoors in the same way that I do. 

DT: Thank you for sharing that story. I want to switch gears and ask what unconditional self-love looks like for you on a daily basis? 

TR: I don't know because I don't know if I always love myself unconditionally. Sometimes I look at my body, and I say, 'Wait, who stole my 25-year-old body?' Or I'll see someone who is 35, and I think, 'Okay, they have exceeded all expectations of life.' Even though my life is great, I beat myself up like anyone else. 

But then there are days when I can't believe a show that people told me I would never be able to do is now in its third season. And I authored my first novel, which I'm so proud of, that'll be released in October, and as I reflect, I think to myself, 'Wait, I did that. I love me!' It goes back and forth, and it's a daily practice to try and make sure that I love myself unconditionally. 

DT: I appreciate your transparency and congratulations on your book. I'm excited about its release. 

TR: Oh, you have to get it! The character's name is Jordan Manning, and she's a reporter in Chicago. She's in pursuit of the truth after being awakened to the news of a young Black girl missing in a series of disappearances of young Black girls that seem to be ignored by the media. 

DT: October can't be here soon enough! So, what do you believe are the most common misperceptions that women sometimes allow to hold them back in pursuit of being the best versions of themselves? 

TR: I think we believe we have to be perfect or that there is a perfect formula. But at the same time, we all say, 'No-one's perfect,' or 'I'm not trying to be perfect.' And then, deep down inside, you are. In the middle of the night, when you start telling yourself about yourself, you recognize that you are in search of this thing that we know doesn't even exist. So for me, I think just being honest with the person in the mirror. 

We fall for misperceptions that there is a way to be perfect at work or perfect in this relationship. I'm not a laissez-faire, but at 51 years old, I am certainly embracing more than ever the fact that I know what I know and I'm comfortable with the things that I don't know. That doesn't mean I'm not curious and unwilling to explore and learn, but I don't need to know every single thing or have an answer to every single thing. 

DT: Lastly, what lessons have you learned about yourself from the pandemic to help you power through each day? 

TR: I'm a Virgo. I'm not a control freak, although everyone in my life probably would dispute that. However, I do like organization. I thrive in structure and organization. Over the past 14 months, I realized that that's not the case because we had no control over so much. Almost everything, including decisions, was being made for us. We had to depend on the CDC and the information being provided because this was a novel virus. 

I now recognize that you don't need all of that control. We had no control over the fact that this would invade all of our lives globally. And for me, it was a strong reminder that unknown variables are surrounding all of us each day. It perhaps won't be another pandemic, but it will be the loss of a job or a relationship that you think is going great, but on the other hand, they don't think it's going that great. 

So here's the deal. Enjoy the things, you know, much more because bad things are going to happen. And trust me, you don't have to look for them. They're the unknown variables. They will happen, but I think you can find some peace if you can control your desire not to control everything. That's what I have found. I have found that I can't manage the unknown variables, but I can manage the joy of the moments that I have in front of me.