Hi West Baton Rouge,
Maybe it’s the spring air, but it seems like everywhere you go, things are changing. Familiar faces are leaving, new faces are arriving, the state’s 2015 legislative session has begun, ideas are being inspired and finally, I’ve remembered to write 2015 instead of 2014 when signing any paperwork. Big things are happening, I can feel it.
This feeling hit home a few weeks ago when George Jenne, the publisher of the Journal, offered me a position here as editor. Aaron Williams, the Journal’s former editor, was leaving after more than seven years of hard work and the Journal needed someone to take that responsibility. I wasn’t sure what to say at first.
The offer felt sudden and for nearly a week the decision haunted me. There was so much uncertainty. There were so many “ifs.” “What if it doesn’t work?” “What if my current job gets better?” “What if I looked for work elsewhere?”
But what if I love this job?
When I agreed to take the position, I started to realize how great it was going to be. The path forward became less foggy and I could see a vision for the Journal.
The decision reminded me of a similar career choice I made at 19 when I decided to join the Army. Signing my name on that infamous dotted line filled me with uncertainty and anxiety. There was no going back from that decision and I knew it would change me permanently. As scared as I was (and I will admit I was indeed scared), I was excited for change.
Since the Army, I have made a habit of getting outside of my comfort zone by traveling to new places and meeting new people. As one of my journalism professors once told me: “If you’re ever comfortable with what you’re doing, you’re doing something wrong.”
My love for travel was what prompted me to move to Louisiana – well that and my girlfriend. Let’s just say I moved for love.
Originally, I’m from the shady pines of Washington state, just west of the Puget Sound. It’s a beautiful country. This past weekend’s weather pales in comparison to the perpetual gloom of the Pacific Northwest. It’s an odd thing to reminisce about, but Washingtonians can be odd folk. As much as I miss those dreary days watching the rain fall in Washington, there is too much to see to stay put for long.
I’ve always been drawn to Louisiana as a unique state with a certain type of magic woven into its culture. Louisiana’s history is extensive, the geography is fascinating, the food is delicious and the people are some of the kindest. Aside from my family back home, I have never felt more comfortable than living and working among Louisianans. The people of WBR have greeted me with open arms and I couldn’t be more thankful.
My point is that the changes in my personal life have always been good. Even when they were bad, they were things that I learned and grew from.
Before I accepted this position, I felt like I was still stuck in 2014. Despite moving 2,000 miles, I felt like I was in the same spot. I needed change, just as Aaron does, just as we all do.
Change can be daunting, even nerve wracking at times, but when we embrace it, we start to see the good, not just in the future, but in everything. The flowers are blooming, there are kites in the air and winter is long gone.
There’s no telling what is in store for WBR’s future, but I know that I will do my best to provide this parish with the most accurate and informative community news that I can.
Feel free to say hello. I’ll be in town. I hope you enjoy this week’s paper.