Sitting at my desk at The Globe this week, I’ve been thinking about how I got here.
More specifically, I've been recounting the decisions that I’ve made leading up to this point that brought me here to The Globe — to Worthington.
A decision to obtain a degree in journalism. A decision to start my career in Nebraska. The decision to leave on a new adventure. All these decisions, none of which I regret, played a role in bringing me here, although I didn’t know it when I was faced with them.
My next big decision I’ve recently made will take effect next week, when I’ll push in my chair at the desk I’ve called mine for the past 2.5 years for the last time.
I’m beyond thrilled for my adventure that lies ahead, but I continue to have great respect for The Globe and its dedication to community journalism and my co-workers that I’ll soon say goodbye to.
One thing that will make the goodbyes easier is the knowledge that we’ll continue to bump into one another, because that’s something that isn’t unusual in Worthington, which I’m excited to continue to call my home. This community has quickly become my home, which is a feeling I haven’t felt since growing up in what I now consider my parents' home in Nebraska.
I’m excited to begin an adjustment to a different career. I’ll soon transition to Bedford Industries, where I’ll be a digital content specialist. I’m excited to join a company I’ve heard nothing but positive remarks about, particularly since accepting the position.
It would be tough to deny that the intermittent time has produced a range of emotions. Nearly four years spent reporting doesn’t seem like a long time in the grand scheme of things, but it will always be an important part of my life.
As I was clearing out pile after pile of meeting agendas, court dockets and records and other miscellaneous documents I’ve been too afraid to trash should I need to reference them later (I rarely ever did), I came across some memorabilia I’d forgotten I’d held on to.
Tucked far away in a binder was my first-ever business card. I remember how official it felt to receive a box of business cards with my name printed on them upon starting my first out-of-college job at the Wahoo Newspaper.
Also in and around my desk were handwritten thank you notes from community members. Whether it was a nice note from someone I’d profiled thanking me for my interest or from Worthington High School’s Trojan News class thanking me for visiting with them about what I do and conducting a mock interview — I’ve kept them all.
The notes brought a smile to my face, producing memories of some of the stories I’d gotten to tell and the effect they had on the subjects. Whether it was especially busy or I felt like I’d let someone down, the correspondence from someone so pleased with how I had told their story often picked me up when I needed it most. Your kind words over the years have brought wind to my sails.
Admittedly that will be what’s hardest to say goodbye to: the routine interactions I’ve enjoyed with professionals in this community who I’ve formed relationships with over the past 2.5 years. At the same time, I’m excited to form new relationships that come along with the new endeavor.
My mind feels a bit like mush as I’m sitting here trying to rack my brain of some of my most memorable stories I’ve gotten to cover during my time here. At the end of the day, each story has mattered, because they’ve represented what makes this community and surrounding area tick.
I still remember wandering into this community in summer 2017. I didn’t understand why folks my age appeared sympathetic to the news I’d recently moved to Worthington. Comments about “nothing to do here” weren’t exactly the “welcome” parade I’d hoped for.
I’m so thankful that I didn’t take these comments to heart and gave Worthington the fair shake it deserved. I’ve found that there’s plenty to do in this community for those who make a concerted effort to find activities they’re interested in. For me, I look forward to playing volleyball practically year round, whether indoors at winter recreational leagues in Sibley, Iowa and the Worthington Area YMCA or sand volleyball during the summer months at The Tap. Each is well organized and a fantastic way to meet people.
I’ve been impressed with the number of projects that have been accomplished, are in the works or have been approved for the future since joining this community. It’s something I’ve rejoiced in as this community and its members have worked to make Worthington an even better community to live, work and play.
Everything can’t be sunshine and rainbows, which has also become obvious in the position I’ve been in — whether it be covering a family’s pain and grief following the loss of a loved one or the terrible, but real, ways people are victimized.
I hope to transform my knowledge I’ve gathered about this community into realistic outcomes that will hopefully promote a more positive narrative among current residents to give future transplants a more fitting Worthington welcome.