Unlike many, my family and I did not visit relatives for Thanksgiving. My maternal grandmother has been in the hospital, and I was told some on my dad's side were sick.
I stayed here and "took it easy." I'm okay with this, and getting this post written gave me the impetus to try and flesh out some difficult thoughts about what I do and why.
I am not overtly positive with this one, but trying to be honest as such. That matters.
The last few months have been hard in terms of being here for the Banner Graphic. It has been feeling stuck in a rut with only my beat. It has been feeling like I haven't put forth the effort and have failed to live up to my own expectations as a local journalist. It has been feeling like I've missed out on many opportunities for that one great story.
In that vein, however, it has often felt like many of our readers, with the community and organizations in general, take what Jared, Eric and I can accomplish for granted. I would say we've been thrown under the bus for others' oversight. It is not seeing the Banner as a local business. It is information not being shared in a mutual partnership.
This directly smacks in the face of what I've professed to be what drives my reporting. I am honest with myself that writing that great story is still on me, and this will never change. It is also true that we are nothing without connections and the trust we have.
What is here to be thankful for? Why won't I just turn in my resignation and leave?
There have been many nights where I have sat and asked myself why I'm still in this journalism thing. I have now tried to contextualize how I can be thankful not just for my livelihood, but how it gives me purpose even when the successes seem inadequate.
Knowing that you're still human can be a great solace in this job. We take ownership for the errors we make and correct them. For me, it has never been about me having "thick skin," but about criticisms, as well as information, being given and received in good faith. Grace is still very important, and I am working on how to be better at it.
The common factor behind all of this is people, and there are quite a few I'm thankful to have inside as well as outside the newsroom. Indeed, I think they run together, and what could be more #SmallTownPR than that? It's not something to take for granted.
Ultimately, the people, in turn with the good stories and experiences I have had, have kept me going. The point of it all? I'll get after it because I will relish the opportunity.
Back to the Banner, I'm thankful for everyone who will continue to support the crucial role we play within our community. You are that purpose behind what we do and why.