I try to keep diary-type entries off my blog (because, really, who the hell cares? But then again, you could say that about the entirety of anyone's blog, including this one). But I've reached a turning point in life that ought to be recorded.
After many years (too long, in fact) I am leaving the newspaper business. I've taken a job with an international women's friendship and service organization as editor of a bi-monthly magazine and all in-house publications. I wasn't looking for a job, but an old friend recommended me. The rest happened pretty quickly. Now I find myself a week and a half out from a new job where I'll have grown-up stuff like an office, an assistant, benefits, and a salary that doubles (a little more, in fact) what I'm making now.
The money is great, as are the benefits. There's even some travel involved in the summer. But the most exciting thing is that I'll be editing, and that's it. No classified ad sales, no deliveries, no folding and stuffing envelopes. I don't resent that I have to do all that now: the newspaper business has been hit hard and I'm blessed to have had any job at all. My current (soon to be former) employers have been as good to me as they've been able. I'll always be thankful to them. I'll miss 'em.
But I'd be lying if I said I'd miss the newspaper business. I'm proud of my journalism career, don't get me wrong. When I was a kid, I said I wanted to be a rock star, teacher, or journalist when I grew up. Well, I came close enough to rock star (close enough to sort of lose interest in the "star" part - now only the music is left, which is the only part that ever mattered). I've worked at four newspapers, learned how to write, edit, and do graphic design, won several prestigious awards from the Missouri Press Association...I feel like I've "been there, done that," and I'm ready to move on.
As for that third childhood dream of being a teacher, well: I'm young yet. Check back with me in 10 years.
So goodbye to the newspaper world. I'm not making a big announcement about it; I'm not even writing a farewell column for the paper. I won't go out with a bang. I'll just sneak away.
Now I face the future with a bunch of excitement (and a twinge of fear of the unknown). But the bottom line is, after years of struggle, I made it. I was never good at making the "right" decisions in life, and now I'm in a position where I must make them, all the time, to keep this great new thing I've got. But I know I have it in me. One of the biggest lessons I've learned over the past decade is that other people often have far more faith in me than I have in myself.
Let's hope they're right.