Change needed to be made

October 14, 2016   ·   0 Comments

Making a large change in your life can be exhilarating and daunting all at the same time.

It means letting go of things that are comfortable and familiar in order to move into something different and often unpredictable.

It can be easy to opt out of pursuing any different posts for ourselves when the one we are on is filled with comfort and security. We have confidence in where we are at and so we never move forward.

Sometimes the stability is a good thing, and sometimes it’s the best thing for ourselves and our family. But other times, that constant brings the need for change. It’s not necessarily a bad thing – a constant does not need to become a negative to require change – sometimes it’s just time.

When I began my adventure into journalism as a bright-eyed 19-year-old, I was going to take on the world. Like my favourite TV journalist, Lois Lane, I would become an investigative journalist pushing the limits to grab hold of the truth.

During my final year I had the opportunity to do my first real investigative piece. It was a story on a Russian journalist who had been locked in a mental institution by the government for trying to deride the inhumane treatments they were using on patients in the institution. Not only was the information I needed far more difficult to find by then I had imagined, but it was a bit of a shock discovering how afraid people were to disclose information. People whom I had been communicating with in English suddenly pulled out as interview subjects, claiming after all of their interacting that they they didn’t speak English. One told me he could no longer talk and warned me to stop asking questions. Although Lois Lane was constantly threatened and found her life in danger, it didn’t seem quite as thrilling when I was the one treading dangerous waters.

Eventually, I ended up back in Orangeville where I began freelancing for both community newspapers. I can still remember my mom laughing at me because I had sworn I would never do community news – it was far too boring and bland. But there I was, writing for two papers in my hometown and actually loving it.

When I had the opportunity to begin reporting full-time I leapt at it. As a 19-year-old with her heart set on making a difference in the world, I was not able to see the picture where that difference could come from sharing the stories of the people who live far from the world of city glitz and glamour. As a mid-twenty-something adult, the picture became a lot clearer.

The more involved I became with my job, the more involved I became in the community. I quickly learned that my passion in writing was not in the exposes, but rather on the opportunity to help someone share their story with our community. Over the last few years, while it has meant a lot to hear the people who have encouraged me and told me my writing has made a difference in their lives and in our community, the truth is that is giving me far too much credit. Those stories – your stories – were already enough to change lives and make a difference. I was just lucky enough to have the chance to voice them to everyone else.

When I made the decision to leave the Citizen full-time, it wasn’t an easy one. This paper has been more than my home, it has been a place of comfort, passion, and growth over the past few years. It was a change that needed to be made though.

Being a part of something like a community newspaper has taken me places I never would have dreamed. From meeting Canadian Olympians and some it the people who inspired me to start speaking out about mental health, to celebrities and people I would never have otherwise met. Through this job I have formed friendships I have become so grateful for and met some of the most courageous, brave, and intelligent people I have ever known, and all in our own backyard.

I have become a better person and a stronger adult because of this job. While it has most certainly not always been sunshine and roses, it is certainly a job that I will always look fondly on.

As I move on to the next chapter in my life, it cannot be done without saying thank you Orangeville, for believing in me, encouraging me, and letting me share your stories these past few years.

For now, at least, I hang up my reporter hat to become another member of this great community.

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