Meet my new workplace — The Forum Communications Company, home of The Forum newspaper where I just started as a full-time employee.
Sixteen years ago, I left my budding writing career as a newspaper journalist to focus on raising our firstborn son. Following him came another, another, another and another child. Each new addition to our family seemed to take me further and further from the newsroom where I’d begun.
But as of this week, I’m back. And I’m realizing that even though I’ve been away all these years, I never fully removed myself from the heart of what I left. My writing continued. I became a children’s author and speaker. I wrote articles for magazines, press releases for a company whose mission I love, and took part in many other communications endeavors, including my own small business focusing on this work.
But when I learned our local paper, where I’ve been working as a columnist since 2008, was looking for a full-time reporter for its new SheSays section (for which I’ve been writing as a contributor since October), it seemed like an opportunity too fitting to pass by. I know how to do interviews and fashion a story from information I’ve worked hard to gather. And I’ve been writing primarily for a readership comprising mainly women for many years. I honestly can’t imagine a better match. And I’m grateful others thought so as well.
Yesterday was my first day back on the job outside the home. Here I am wearing the glittery, purple shirt my teen daughter picked out for me this past weekend. The necklace was given to me by a friend. I feel like I was bringing pieces of my current world into my new world.
This move has been a leap for our family, but not a leap in terms of professional qualifications and comfort. I feel like a fish back in her native waters. And I feel good about the fact that I’ve returned in many ways a writer who is both wiser and possessing a greater depth of vision than the first go-around.
This is my new desk with my brand-new computer. Do I ever feel lucky!
And a close-up view of an important detail:
The first night after my first day, I was exhausted. My body needs to get used to different hours and my brain needs to settle from all of the information it’s taken in in the past week or so. But my enthusiasm hasn’t waned a bit. I’ve experienced a beautiful virtual send-off by friends on Facebook, and one last lunch with a friend on Monday at my favorite restaurant.
Last week, I chose my Word of the Year: Ready! Less than an hour after I wrote that post, I found out exactly what was waiting for me on the other side of that proclamation.
Thanks for journeying with me these past months. I look forward to sharing more as I am able, and to hearing from you about your growth as a writer in this new year of 2012.
Q4U: What part of your life would you return to if you had a chance to go back and give it another try?