As I am leaving The Times-Gazette this seems the time for some eloquence, some waxing poetic, some profound thoughts. I just want to be able to describe all the emotions that my leaving churns up, but I am finding myself utterly stymied.
I think, perhaps, it is all just too big to squeeze into a few column inches.
For nearly five years I have covered this community of Highland County and its burgs, and I have in that time gained an intimate knowledge of my community, something that I did not have or see even a glimpse of before this.
But the time has come for me to turn this page, begin a new chapter of my life. So, as difficult a task as it is to gather up my belongings, say my goodbyes and be on my way, it is to something new, but what I leave behind is the thing that makes it no easy feat.
I have written a lot for this publication, and most weeks have offered my own column with my own words, thoughts and whatevers. Some of them have been silly, others heartbreaking, probably more than a couple a little preachy, but mostly just all my own observations from my unique and one-of-a kind view of the world.
It has been a privilege, a blessing, an adventure, and more often than not a joy to share that view, and to be a sort of information channel between the public and law enforcement, the courts, and local governments and organizations.
I have learned more than I knew there was to learn about my Greenfield and my county. I have learned how to work fast in a pinch. I have learned to hear the scanner no matter what else is going on. And I have learned to take the insults, awful comments, and the occasional threat that comes with a grain of salt.
I work with the best bunch of people anyone could ask for. Leaving them hurts. I have gotten to know a lot of people doing this job, and I will have to get used to not seeing them on a regular basis. That hurts, too.
At points in life we have to venture beyond what we have known. In April 2012 this desk, these people, this newsroom, this job were all very new and frightening to me.
And moving on from the very familiar can be scary, but it is also exciting. But, one thing is ending is another thing is beginning.
I have been afforded experiences that I would not have had without working here, and I am thankful. I am also thankful for the different view it has given me.
Without seeing firsthand the things that I have seen, I would likely still be ignorant of the hard work that so many devoted people put into keeping our communities blooming, to helping the hopeless, to offering hope to the downtrodden, to making sure that the good things in our Highland County don’t get swallowed whole by the bad things that affect every community.
I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to see, to hear, to talk, and to write about so many facets of life right here at home.
Thank you all who have taken my phone calls, answered my questions, helped me learn what I didn’t know, pointed me in the right direction, trusted me, been patient, offered encouraging words, thanked me, bolstered me, helped me, and not judged me too harshly.
I will, indeed, miss this.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.
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