Farewell to a forever home

Published 2:00 am Saturday, December 12, 2015

Working for a community newspaper is more than just work. It’s time spent building and maintaining relationships throughout the community. And let me tell you, I’ve made some relationships that I will forever cherish as I move on in my journalism career.

I came to The Messenger with basically no experience under my belt and the community welcomed me with open arms. Now the experience I’ve accumulated will compare to no other, and it will only add to my future success.

Throughout the past year or so, I have enjoyed going to Female Factor with all those wonderful, (the good kind of) crazy and beautiful women, working with the City of Troy, going to school events, attending every City of Troy event and meeting individuals throughout the county.

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I was proud to be known as “the newspaper girl” as people in the community began to recognize me and accept me in their corner of the world. Handshakes were few and far between, not because anyone is rude, but because that is too formal. When I walked in to cover an event, I got at least one hug from someone there.

I’ve slowly announced my leave throughout the community, and each person I told responded with a comment about not wanting me to leave and a genuine good luck wish as I move forward.

I can’t even explain how much it means to hear that, while I have grown to love a community as a family, that they have grown to accept me into that family. They see me as one of their own, even though I’ve only been here for a short time. I eventually grew out of just being “the newspaper girl,” even though I always liked the nickname.

I didn’t grow up in Troy, or anywhere surrounding here for that matter. I grew up in a town where most people only stop for a restroom break as they travel to bigger and better cities. So, when people would tell me, “the community will truly miss you,” or “you have been such an asset to this community,” it honestly brought tears to my eyes.

If I have had the privilege to sit and chat with you in an interview, I thank you. Your time was truly valued and your words changed me. They all did.

I’ve been blessed to be able to know people in every corner of the community, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the time I’ve spent with each one of you. While it warms my heart to be able to know a city mayor that genuinely loves his town, city and county leaders who dedicate their lives to serving their community, police and firemen who put their lives on the line each day, I’m also thankful to know the lives in between.

Troy and Pike County have served me well as my first “big girl job” and my first true home away from home. As I leave this community to join a new one, this community will always be held dear to my heart.

This will always be a home to me.