What a difference one year makes

Published 2:41 pm Friday, September 18, 2015

It was a little after noon on a crisp late-September day in Ohio when my phone began to vibrate in my pocket. I was out with my girlfriend of two years celebrating our anniversary with a lunch on the lake, so I quickly sent the call from the 757 area code to voice mail. Little did I know at that time it was a call from my future employer.

My search for my first job after college was nearing the five-month point, and while that may not seem like a very long time to those with a different perspective, the process of applying for a position only to be deemed not good enough or to get beat out by someone with more experience was taking its toll. I wasn’t ready to give up, but I also wasn’t sure whether the job best suited to my abilities was even out there.

As we waited for the check, Kayla encouraged me to check the message on my phone. It was Tony Clark, publisher of The Tidewater News.

“Andrew,” he said before introducing himself. “I’m calling you in response to the cover letter and resume that you sent in for the staff writer position that we have available, and we look forward to hearing back from you shortly.”

I repeat what he said word-for-word because it is still saved on my phone.

It was the call that I had been waiting on with great angst, and I sent it to voice mail…

Fast forward one year and I’ll be returning this weekend to that very restaurant with a different perspective on life. Instead of being preoccupied and stressed out about my exhaustive search, I’ll be able to reflect upon the journey of how I got to where I am today.

We all reach a turning point at some point in our lives — one where we’re scared and unsure of the direction we’re headed. But one thing I regret that I did not recognize at that time was that the climb up the mountain, while difficult, would be just as satisfying and rewarding as the destination. It was a humbling experience, and I became a better person for it.

The same could be said of my position at the newspaper. I was so dead set on finding a gig writing about sports that I was unsure whether writing for The Tidewater News was the right job for me. Turns out that writing about Western Tidewater’s schools systems, government and citizens has molded me into a more well-rounded writer. And I still get to cover sports, too.

If I had only known at that time the difference that a year makes, I would have answered Tony’s call without hesitation.

ANDREW LIND is a staff writer at The Tidewater News. He can be reached at (757) 562-3187 or andrew.lind@tidewaternews.com