Sunday's Faith Academy graduations meant more to me than just watching a bunch of teenagers pat each other on the back while the family camera was rolling.
No, this family-filled, faith-based, screaming and prayerful event was personal.
This same event marks one year of me covering graduations, accidents, floods, murders and parades at the Victoria Advocate.
The job has given me the opportunity to fulfill a girlish dream. It’s allowed me to call myself something that few in this volatile world of unstable media and heartless economy can say - I can call myself a journalist.
I remember looking at this same graduation (my first real assignment) a year ago with such a different set of eyes. Such naivety, such bright-eyed and bushy-tailedness. What a silly little intern I was.
I had no idea about the pressures, the criticisms, the long-hours and yes, occasional tears, that would trickle my way in the near future. No idea.
Over the past year newsworthy events have come and gone; many sit stored away like reference books in my mind.
I’ve talked with Old Farts – car club members that is – cops and crooks, chased down rumors about headless alligators and had the joy of sitting down and putting my experiences into words.
Likewise I've talked to dead children's parents, angry law enforcement and dodgy landlords and worked to round out everyone's thoughts beneath the choke-hold of that thing called a deadline.
But journalism is like that. Like a bad boyfriend it’ll be there to bring you laughs, nibble away at your heart with sorrow, and at night will follow you beneath your covers into your dreams.
It documents our sadness, exposes our weakness and - hopefully - praises justice. It's a reflection of ourselves that isn't always flattering, but, to the best of our abilities one that opens perspectives and unlocks thought.
As a journalist at the Advocate I’ve been able to see how what we write – even what we don’t write – impacts the smallest of communities around us.
I can say in this last year I’ve learned a great deal about politics, society and human nature. And, just as one would learn from studying any reflection, I’ve learned a lot about myself.
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