So, the time has come.
It may have only been eight months, but I’ve really gotten into the groove here at the paper. In fact, it’s only been in the last few months that …
So, the time has come.
It may have only been eight months, but I’ve really gotten into the groove here at the paper. In fact, it’s only been in the last few months that Monday’s stopped feeling like a horror show and content for the newspaper stopped being a mad dash to put together on time.
I came to the Herald a broken man, quite literally as my legs were still healing from a dramatic car accident that had broken both legs in a shared three place. I was happy to find a job that would help me afford medication and doctor’s appointments as I struggled to rebuild while learning to walk again.
It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t even fun, most of the time, getting the people of Cranston to talk to me and help me make the newspaper something worth reading. It was, however, rewarding. Every letter I received, even those from people who hated me and my work, brought a smile to my face. I was doing what I went to school for, and it felt good.
While I got better and better over the time I was here, my body didn’t. Don’t get me wrong I’m walking better than I have since the accident, but that’s only part of it. The seizures that caused the car crash, while slowed by medication, haven’t stopped. I haven’t been allowed to get my license back, and getting from place to place in the hopes of covering the news has been difficult.
The emotional and, sometimes, physical support I’ve received at the office has been great, but I still felt the need for a job I could do more on my own terms. I am not back to who I was before, and I’m not ready to accept my new limitations yet. While healing, I knew I needed something different to help me feel complete and capable again. I started to occasionally look for other opportunities.
It’s not that I was looking for something better. Everyone here has been wonderful, and though it’s been less than a year I’m going to miss them all. I just wanted to find something it felt like I could be good at without help.
I’ve always been the type of person to strive for, not just competence, but genuine success. While working here I’ve felt myself doing an adequate job, but I never felt like I was “hitting it out of the park.” While I love writing and helping people to stay informed the effort of getting from place to place using scheduled bus rides was constantly making me miss opportunities and stories that deserved coverage. Hours a week waiting on rides to show up and get me somewhere on time, or worse waiting for them only to be late anyway, had begun grating on me emotionally.
At a certain point I had to accept that I couldn’t do this job, be happy with my work and be stuck using public transport all at the same time. I had to find something that worked for me. So, once a month I made a point of hopping on job posting sites and filling out a few applications. While I was sure I wanted something else, I wasn’t in full hunting mode, at least not yet. However, my consistent effort seemed to have paid off.
A while back I had interviewed for a position as a media coordinator for a behavioral therapy agency. A position that would allow me to fully utilize the skills I had without being held back by my newfound disability was exactly what I was looking for. I wasn’t sure it would turn out, and by the time I was done with the interview I’d already convinced myself they’d find someone else.
Despite that lack of confidence, they called me back. I went in for a second interview, now feeling like I really had a chance. I prepared, researched and continued to just be myself. I got lucky. They offered me the position. I wasn’t expecting it, but I was thrilled.
At the same time, I was sad. I’d made a bit of a home at my desk. The people surrounding me were already a comfortable presence in my daily life. I knew it would be hard to leave them. More importantly, I was worried about leaving them in a tough spot. I mean the Herald only has one full-time employee, and it was me.
I immediately called the paper’s owner, John Howell, and told him the situation. He’s been a mentor and almost an uncle-like figure to me for eight months now. The thought of leaving him with more work on his plate while I moved on put a knot in my stomach. Yet, he took the news in stride. All he asked was for some help finding a replacement.
As I write this, I don’t know who that will be. I do know though, that with John behind the helm it will be okay. I’ve set up a handful of interviews this week. I want Cranston to have a person capable of writing clear and informative content. I want a lot of things, but I have to trust that it will work out. After all, John has been through this before. The Herald ran without me last year, and I’ve no doubt it will run without me in the future.
Still, I’m going to miss you Cranston. Good luck with everything.
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