|What started as a chance ended as an amazing experience|
|Written by Renee Changnon, Daily Vidette Columnist|
|Wednesday, 02 May 2012 14:15|
For one of the first times I can recall, I find myself facing writers block. The urge for me to continue talking has come to a screeching halt and I have been forced to not only look at my time at ISU, but look at the beauty of life and really appreciate all of my blessings.
Two summers ago, I found myself hunting for a part-time job, anything I could do to make a little extra money while in school. After having my interview with Macy’s in Bloomington, my mom encouraged me to give the Vidette one more try. I didn’t know what would come of me dropping in, but I figured, why not?
When I came back for an interview to be a columnist, I was nervous and wondered what they saw in my writing or me. Was I really good enough to be published?
At the end of my 10-minute conversation with Alyssa Siegele, the new editor in chief, I was welcomed to the Vidette staff. She gave me a chance that I didn’t know if I would deserve. I was not a reporter or a photographer, my place on the staff was minimal, but to me it was the most exciting thing ever … no thanks, Macy’s!
I’ll never forget how it felt seeing my columns in print. I would save and clip them, and nerdy as it is to admit, I laminated a few of the originals. This newspaper means something to me, it has given me my purpose, and helped me realize that what I love to do is work with people and learn about who they are and tell their stories.
My family was so supportive of me from the very start of my journey at the Vidette, specifically my Grandpa Stan. We were able to bond over the fact that writing was a talent that had been in the family. After emailing him one of my first columns, he sent me a quick message back and I learned I had a piece of Bloomington history in my blood.
In his message he told me, “[Your] Aunt Lolita (my mother’s sister) served as the society editor at the Pantagraph, and her husband, Charlie Driver, was the editor. Hey babe, we have writing in our blood!”
For almost a month now, the reality that college is coming to an end has placed a heavy burden on my shoulders. My career path seems blurry and my future is uncertain. Unlike the lucky students out there with jobs waiting in Chicago, New York, or some other fabulous place, the news doesn’t wait.
For me, the hardest part about the next week and a half may be partially due to the fact that I am saying goodbye to some of the best friends a girl could have, but also because I’m saying goodbye to a chapter in my life. Prior to this point, it seems the general blueprint was laid, but now it’s in my own hands.
On Tuesday, May 1, my Grandpa Stan passed away. I was emotional, yet numb at the same time. He was the person who was rooting me on, asking me to send hard copies of my columns and reminding me that my gift of writing is something in part to do with the rich family history that preceded it.
Saying goodbye is hard, whether it’s to a close friend you may never be as close to again, to a relationship that cannot end in friendship, or to a loved one.
The next few days, I will be saying goodbye to not only my grandfather, but also the people who have been there for me the past few years through the good and the bad.
I find that not only am I mourning his death, but I’m mourning the end of my own era at ISU. If you have been a reader or have ever found my words to have struck a chord, then I can honestly say I achieved what I wanted.
I am proud of the person I have become the past two years, and I owe it to my Vidette family who remained by my side, even when I had to take a horrible phone call.
Instead of being sad about leaving, I guess I can be glad to know that I was able to discover myself while I was here. I have grown as a writer and a person. And if I worked with you, was friends with you, or interviewed you, thank you!
So friends, this is it. But since I don’t like saying goodbye, let’s just say see you later!