In honour of 10 years of service, the Edmonton Journal gave me a ring. “Married to The Journal,” I would say when people asked me about it.
It’s not really a good idea to marry your job. Especially when you’re also married to a person. Lots of thinking has brought me to that realization, and so I’m about to do what may be the second most crazy I’ve done here (the craziest being the time I drove The Journal car to Stony Plain and back without a driver’s licence).
I’m going to leave.
It’s hard to say goodbye. I love this newsroom and the people in it. We’ve been together for almost 14 years, plus the summer I spent as an intern (when I had no driver’s licence and was too scared to say so). The past four years on the digital side have been wild and hard and, at least quite a bit of the time, fun.
But if I may get a little geeky and go all Venn-diagram on you, the circle representing “Things I want to do” and the circle representing “Things that must be done” don’t overlap enough anymore (see above). That’s not The Journal’s fault. That’s just the way it is. My goals – journalistic, creative, personal – have changed, and the place to pursue them is on the outside. I don’t know how yet, which is perhaps the extra-crazy part of this, but it’s time to try.
My departure has nothing to do with cutbacks. No one pushed me, and my bosses are sad to see me go. It is undeniably true that the newsroom is smaller now than when I started; this is the economic reality of an industry whose business model is still adjusting to new realities. Journalism these days is challenging, but ‘twas ever thus, and nothing will stop dedicated and talented people from finding ways to do it well, no matter what. The Journal is full of such people.
I hope I helped set The Journal on the road to finding new and better ways to cover the community, with the help of the community itself. I look forward to watching that journey while I pursue my own.
Part of my journey involves spending a lot more time with my kids and the fella to whom I am actually married. Part of it is opening my mind to possibilities I never stopped to consider because I was already too busy. They say the first rule of improv is “Say yes.” That sounds like a better approach to work than “I do.” So I’m going to give it a whirl.