I sit in the quiet newsroom on a Saturday and reflect on the past year.
Gee, I’ve learned a lot.
I look at the stack of newspapers from the year I keep in my desk drawer and think about the tiring and happy moments. I think about all the great people I’ve met, the stories I’ve heard and had the chance to share.
At 24, it seems I’ve just really grown into the person I was born to be over the last three years. There have been so many bumps along the way — and it’s so special to see how God has made everything come together.
There are not many crazy events that have happened in my life in the last 365 days — it was a pretty mellow year.
But one of the greatest opportunities was moving back home to work at the paper I grew up seeing my dad read each Sunday — the paper that used to have pages and pages of television listings that I so clearly remember.
I saw some of the most hard-to-believe things — floodwaters invading communities and homes, death after death after death, the inside walls of the county jail. And I’ve written some stories I’ll never forget — one on a gang bust, circumcision protesters, countless prostitution arrests.
Most importantly, I have a better outlook of where my life is headed. I bought a house. I survived bike week in Myrtle Beach. I know for certain I want to go back to school to become a journalism professor one day. And I’m content in where my life, faith and happiness are going into 2019.
This year hasn’t been all happiness though. Things got real in our newsroom when hundreds across our company were laid off. It’s a scary feeling as a young person.
And even when it’s a choice to leave, it’s sad, but bittersweet, to see your newsroom bestie move on to another paper.
Our family lost a young loved one, and a fellow high school friend passed, too.
And each year without my Grandma Reba is tough.
On a lighter-but-not-fun note, my forehead wrinkle is really setting in as I grow older. Everyone who tells me they can’t see it needs to stop lying — we all know it’s there.
But I’m #blessed I haven’t found a grey hair yet.
Going forward into a new year, I hope to continue on the path of contentment with my life. Be aware of my thoughts and actions, and my intentions of what I say, think and do. Hold myself accountable when I think negative things or want to say mean things. And pause to search my heart for the decisions I’m going to make.
I plan to continue serving the community I love, teaching people about journalism and why we do what we do ,and kick ass, writing quality work.
All this said, I wish I had my older self years ago to give advice to my younger self as a teen and girl in her early 20s. I wish I could have told her to trust the process — that every heartbreak will make you grow, every failure will teach you lessons, every step of the way is God’s plan to get you to where you are now. Cliché? Yes. But is it the truth? Absolutely.
I never knew what the feeling of contentment was until this season of my life. I never imagined I’d be 100 percent content with my life, where it’s going, my career, my friendships, my relationships with my family members.
I was talking myself into being content with not getting married and being OK with staying single.
But, after dreaming forever about finding my person, the best thing ever happened in 2018 — I met Seth.
Trust the process.
Happy New Year. HS