JShu on the Journey

A Kansan takes on Missouri

Archive for November 2012

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end”

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It’s true.

My end here in Morris is rapidly approaching, and to be honest, it’s kind of breaking my heart a little.

Tonight was my last knit night at my local yarn store. My last day with my paper is next Tuesday. I move out next Thursday and on to a yet-to-be-identified location that will be my fourth home for this calendar year. The last bit of the trial that took all my time back in late August-mid September has wrapped up this week, too, with the sentencing hearing.

So often the firsts of life are so exciting and happy and new, and the lasts are kind of sad and depressing. Unless you are leaving a place you dislike, then it’s still pretty exciting.

When I came to Morris, I didn’t think I’d be leaving in about eight months. I pitched my moving boxes and settled in and made new friends and found favorite places. I anticipated roots. I met people. I never thought I’d be here forever, but I didn’t expect my time to be so short.

It’s kind of a whiplash feeling, actually. I like my apartment and town and editors (I think I’ve recovered from my PTSD stemming from my former workplace) and my coworkers and proximity to everyone here.

However, on the other hand, job security is a powerful motivator for change. As is knowing that where I’m going is bigger and better and has some great people there, too. I just have to learn new faces and names and streets. And find new places to love.

The weirdest thing about it all is realizing that for the first time in my post-college life (3.5 years), I’ll be living near my parents again, as well as where I grew up. I’m excited about that, but also a little sad to not see my Illinois friends and Indiana family as much.

This is kind of all over the place, but it’s been on my mind a lot this week, just how life (/God) can lead you to places you didn’t think they would. To be honest, I spent way too much time between 2010-early 2012 in complete frustration in the lack of movement and in doors closing left and right. I tend to get pretty restless sometimes. Hindsight is 20/20, but it seems like if things had worked out the way I had hoped or wanted, a lot of really neat opportunities would not have come my way.

As much as I worry about ‘tomorrow’ (even though I know I shouldn’t — anxiety runs deep in my family) — it’s kind of amazing to see how things have lined up, despite the hard stuff. For all the uncertainty, apparently I’m still supposed to be in journalism and doing good work and I guess we’ll just see what the next step is when we get there.

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Written by Jessica

November 30, 2012 at 12:48 am

Well, I’m moving again.

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So, about my last post and saying life is unplanned and crazy and interconnected…

My news is this: I’ve accepted a night police reporter job at a 25,000-circulation daily newspaper in St. Joseph, Mo. By the time you read this, it’s official. I’ve printed off my resignation letter and turned it in to my editor, for the second time this calendar year.

You might be scratching your head and asking, “Why so soon?”

When I moved to Morris, I had plans to dig in and stay put for at least a few years, if not longer. Then some not-so-great news came through and hour cuts were put into place. I took a slight pay cut to come here and was generally OK with it, because the paper is so much smaller than the paper I started out with in Florida (it’s a 7,000-circ, 5-day-a-week paper), it’s closer to fam and friends, and also because I really wanted to get out of Florida.

The hour cuts could be worse but it has been harder to deal with financially. Since August, I occasionally perused job boards but nothing really stood out until I saw a posting in September from the paper I’m joining. The fact that I got this job at all is a really cool story and testament to how crazy things can come together.

In 2010, right before my first anniversary at the Daily Sun, a few job openings popped up at this same paper. Homesick and burnt out on my job, I applied. I knew I had a high school friend there who could possibly help me get in the door.

While she helped get me into phone screening-type interviews, they ultimately passed on me because they didn’t want to fly me to Missouri — they had too many good local candidates. I was kind of crushed, but the executive editor wanted to keep in touch in the future and offered to meet with me if I was ever in town.

In Sept. 2010, I planned to go to my friend’s baby shower in Kansas and decided I’d take him up on that. I spent the day with him and met two other editors and it went well, but there were no job openings. So I came back to Florida.

Last year, a spot opened up at a newspaper in the same chain that’s in Paola, Kan. The executive editor graciously said he’d recommend me, but nothing came of it because the paper never filled the position (no $$).

Then, it’s suddenly October 2012. I passed up on that job posting because it was a Lifestyles reporter job — I’m all about hard news. I was at my friend’s in Champaign when I got a bunch of texts messages from my friend, who was saying there was internal shifting taking place and I should call the editor immediately the next day.

I didn’t…but in the meantime, he actually found my resume on his desk from two years prior and asked my friend if I was still in Florida. Then my friend was like, you really need to call. And I did. And we talked, and I submitted new clips, my new resume, etc. and eventually set up my interview, which was last Friday.

It was actually a lot less stressful going into an interview knowing people already. (It also helps that I knew the other person interviewing was a no-show). While I’ve heard less than awesome things about St. Joseph (although having a Target and Starbucks gives it points alone), the paper is nice, financially stable, locally owned, and the people seem pretty great. I’m really looking forward to starting there.

That’s the lengthy version, but wow.

Sometimes it’s hard to see the purpose of closed doors when they’re in your face, but it just goes to show that you never know what actions you take today or tomorrow or who you keep in touch with or whatever, what that could lead to.

Written by Jessica

November 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Posted in Journalism Jobs

Ch-ch-changes

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So, it appears as if my life might be taking an entirely new, unplanned direction! This is both exciting and a little (or a lot) nerve-wracking.

Things are kind of falling into place now and while this post is going to be pretty vague, I’m hoping tomorrow (or maybe Tuesday?) I can give an update.

In the meantime, I think it’s completely wild how life comes together at times. It makes me think of the StrengthsFinder test — one of my items is “connectedness” — it’s kind of a hippie-ish strength, but it’s so true. It blows my mind sometimes how so many parts of my life and the lives of others are interconnected and how an action causes so many reactions in the chain.

This is not related to my news, but a friend of mine from Florida had some exciting news this week. My friend Amy is from Wichita, but worked with me at the Daily Sun. What’s crazy is that her brother recently proposed to one of my classmates from little ol’ Spring Hill, Kansas. The girl he popped the question to was in yearbook with me and her sister was in my graduating class. It’s pretty crazy, right?

I guess this is a pretty short post, but stay tuned!

Written by Jessica

November 19, 2012 at 1:02 am

Posted in Misc.

October: The month of weddings

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Hello friends. It’s so hard to believe it’s November already! October just got here, it seems. Now the election (at long last) is in two days and Christmas is in less than 50.

Things are a little less emo around here. I kind of fell off the earth this last month because of the five million weddings I attended (ok, that might be an exaggeration — it was two), all the socializing with friends and knitting of Christmas gifts. It was a serious whirlwind of activity, especially having to drive out to Indiana two weekends in a row and going down to Champaign at the beginning of the month.

I didn’t work any weekends, but this weekend was my first in several weeks to just do nothing and decompress around the apartment. It was pretty fabulous. My introverted self needed the recharging time.

Speaking of weddings: I think I need to declare 2012 the year of the weddings. I’ve attended three this year, plus a reception for a coworker who married out of state. My sister’s was stressful (especially being in the wedding party), my coworker’s was fun, my aunt’s was lowkey and my cousin’s last week was pretty fun.

Weddings are nice and all, but as a single lady, can we retire “Single Ladies” from being played during the bouquet toss? Also, if you have a wedding with very few single people, is there any way you can avoid marginalizing them? How about a bouquet drawing? I actually proposed this to a friend planning her wedding for next year, where I will probably one of less than 10 single people (it’s very small wedding).

During my cousin and his wife’s wedding, they had the bouquet toss and I was the first one out on the dance floor, and a little shocked to only see my two cousins (both younger than me) and one other girl come out. There were about 200 people in the hall, but most of them, I realized, were middle-aged (which was weird, because my cousin is in his late 20s). So not too many single ladies.

I can’t help but feel this scene is only going to get worse as my 20s, my persistent singleness and lots and lots of weddings continue. I already have two on my radar for next year, so we’ll see how that goes when it gets here.

Written by Jessica

November 4, 2012 at 11:30 pm