I've been working at the Daily Sun News for exactly a year today. It's been one heckuva ride so far.
I never really intended to be a reporter. I've always wanted to be a writer, since before I could even read, but not a reporter. I did try journalism in college, but thought I didn't like the taste of it.
But here I am, and hopefully I'm doing a good job in the eyes of most of the folks who read the newspaper. I know some don't like me, but a writer without criticism is like food without salt.
For me this job has been transformative. I am not social by nature, but being a reporter forces me to connect with people to get the work done.
I've also been forced to learn about what's around me. I know more about Sunnyside than I have about any other place I've lived, including the town I grew up in.
I know how the water system flows. I know how city hall functions. I know what the school district does for the town. I understand the basics of the market forces that drive our agriculture. I have studied Sunnyside's history.
I don't know any of this on an expert level, but I continue to see the city from different angles and my view of Sunnyside and the Lower Valley grows sharper each day I work.
I've also had to look into the dark. I read police reports daily and see the garbage people do to one another. I've seen the damage hailstorms do to crops and witnessed farmers talking about losing everything.
I've peeked into corners I didn't know were there and my world has expanded. I've found things that have enhanced my life. I even adopted a cat that wandered into the newspaper office. Being a reporter has changed my life in many concrete ways.
I have had easier jobs. I have had more pleasant jobs. But I've never felt quite as right in any job before this one. I hope I can continue in it, and I hope I can do better in my second year.