This is a bitter sweet column as I announce to those who don’t already know that I will be leaving The Southeast Sun/Daleville Sun-Courier.
This is my last column for the time-being. Maybe there will be more in the future if life and God bring me back down this way, maybe there won’t be.
That’s the funny thing with life, you can plan all you want but it will pull you strange directions or open opportunities that you never thought possible. When those opportunities happen, you have to take them, which is why I am leaving.
I can’t give up being closer to family and being able to make every one of my little brothers’ extracurricular functions after only making one over the past two years. If you’re a regular reader of the paper, then you’ll know how much family means to me and how many columns I’ve written on that subject.
So when the opportunity presented itself, I had to take it. In my heart and soul, I knew it was the path I was meant to take.
Being able to go be a more involved part of your family sounds very sweet, so where’s the bitter?
The bitter is leaving this paper and this community.
I’ve seen myself grow as a journalist in my time here, something I have to credit to all the help I’ve had here at the office. Whether it’s grammatical questions, help covering a topic, making the pictures I take look pretty, etc., I couldn’t have done any of it without the support of the office. Thank y’all.
Now reporters and the people they cover don’t always get along, nor should they, but I have been treated with so much kindness and respect by everyone in the coverage area that I must thank you all.
I have met so many good people, ambitious people, caring people, community-minded people in my tenure here at the paper.
Each year for our Veteran’s Day special section, I got to meet and learn the stories of some of the heroes of our community. These are stories that become engrained in my brain and my heart when I hear them. Stories that put everything into new perspectives. Stories that somehow always make me respect and appreciate our veterans and military more than I already do.
For our Breast Cancer Awareness Month special section, I learned the inspiring stories of people who have fought some of the hardest battles of their lives. Admittedly, being a male and asking about that can make it a little awkward at first but the stories could serve to inspire anyone.
Covering the schools of Enterprise, New Brockton and Daleville, I’ve gotten to meet some of the brightest and smartest kids. Some of the kindest and well-rounded as well. I can assure all of you that the next generation raised through the systems around here are going to be just fine.
I have to admit I’m going to miss it. Well, maybe not the times where I’m eating my first meal of the day at 9 p.m. or not always having off days, but I’ll miss most of it.
I’ll miss the people. My coworkers, the various board and council members and the members of the community. I’ll miss all of you and the opportunities to tell the stories that need to be told. A community newspaper with community stories can only stay alive thanks to the support of the—you guessed it—community.
So again, a heartfelt thank you to everyone.
Like I said before, I don’t know where life will take me after this next step.
So I’ll just leave it at this:
Goodbye, for now, until we meet again.
Justin Blowers is a former staff writer for The Southeast Sun and Daleville Sun-Courier. The opinions of this writer are his own and not the opinion of the paper.