God is good.
I started keeping this blog when I left for Spain, and it seems that it's mostly been a journal of transition since then. Of moving to new places and finding new niches and making -- and leaving -- new friends.
Throughout it all, God has shown his faithfulness in the people he puts in my life.
I was going to write earlier about this being the easiest first week I've had anywhere, mostly from the job perspective. When my editor first told me he was going to acquiesce my request for a higher salary (look, I negotiated like a grown-up and got my demands met!), he said it was because he'd talked to my references and felt confident that I would be able to learn fast and "hit the ground running." As soon as he told me that, anxiety kicked in -- what if I DON'T hit the ground running? What if I take weeks to get used to the pace and the community and the newsroom? High expectations mean for certain disappointment!! and so on, as I am wont to do in these situations.
But this week, I started to think that maybe I finally have a handle on this journalism thing. I stayed until 7:30 on my first day, chasing down the numbers to accompany my story, which appeared on the front of their B section on Tuesday. On Tuesday, I wrote two stories -- both of which were A1 above the fold on Wednesday. My story on Wednesday, with the photo, took up most of A1 on Thursday. And my fourth story for the week came out on the B front today. Minimal edits, and I felt satisfied with the work I'd done.
So yes -- best first week of a job ever. While I had some downtime, I wasn't bored and didn't feel useless; at the same time, I wasn't overwhelmed by the information I was expected to take in. Could it be that I'm becoming a real-live reporter?! wowza.
While work was great, though, there was still a twinge of loneliness. Nothing too severe (read: no crying); I talked on the phone with lots of friends, cooked my own meals, watched my favorite movies, read Nancy Drew and lay by my pool. But there was no human interaction outside work, and the people there didn't really go out of their way to talk to or befriend me. So I was really banking on First Pres to be a friend-locator.
As far as friend-locators go, this one's pretty magical.
Went to church at 9:30 this morning; it was VBS Sunday, so quite different from normal service, but I was still able to track down Tyler, the college/career director for the church and a former Ghormley staffer whom I remembered from my middle-school camp days. He invited me to the college/career age dinner & Bible study shindig at his house this evening, and I went -- not without first driving past his house twice, wondering if I really had the guts to go barge in on a group of strangers, but barge I did.
It was amazing. Sure, there was initial shyness, but I soon got over it and into good conversations. People think the reporter thing is cool (though they automatically assume they have a PR "in", sigh) and I told my story about seven times, but that was OK. Met people I recognized as campers from my Ghormley days; met people who speak Spanish and rock climb and hike and listen to Eddie Izzard and make inappropriate jokes at the wrong times; met people who felt familiar after knowing them for five minutes.
God shows his faithfulness by putting me in the midst of people I need to meet. Seattle, Spain, Port Townsend, Santiago, Olympia and now Yakima. Can't get away from 'em.
This is going to be a hard home to leave.
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