A few words

Although it was an 11 hour day, it ended with a bang.

Tonight as I covered and attended the Greater Pine Island Civic Association monthly meeting, I was called to the front of the room before the presentations began. As the president of the club announced that I had given my resignation, while handing me a letter of recommendation, all at once the entire room let out an “AH” in disappointment. I think I might have blushed at the response the crowd had given, which led me to say a few words of why I was leaving.

Once it was reveled that the destination was NE Tennessee, they all replied oh she will be back, which was instantly followed by, they will be lucky to have you.

Questions were asked once the meeting concluded of who was going to replace me and if they were going to work as much as I did.

When I first started in 2011, everyone shared with me that I had rather large shoes to fill following the previous editor, who unfortunately passed away rather quickly. As I dedicated countless hours and poured my heart into this weekly newspaper, the tune had changed, as individual’s shared how I will be hard to replace. What an accomplishment, if I do say so myself.

When I think I cannot be touched any deeper, another day at work happens and further impacts me. The smiles, which often leave my face hurting, are constantly taking over me, as individuals leave me speechless with their touching comments.

I look forward to continuing my journey at another newspaper, where I will hopefully impact just as many people if not more. It was a ton of fun turning this weekly newspaper into my own, providing information that I too would be interested in reading.

I have definitely chosen the right career; writing is my passion and will always be my passion. How can it not be with a response like this?

The countdown continues to my last day of being the editor of the Pine Island Eagle . . .

A glimpse of my impact

The last few days I have revamped my resume as I updated it with my latest journalism jobs, improved the wording and changed the style. This document, which made me proud of my accomplishments, will soon be sent to newspapers of our new destination.

While working on my resume, it made me reflect once again on where I started and how far along I have come. Memories poured out of the words that appeared before me as the descriptions of my duties brought me back to the time and place of that particular job, making me remember stories, people and co-workers I have had the opportunity to work with.

This morning I stopped by my executive editor’s office to share a little more about my move, as well as discuss details about my departure. As we caught up on each other’s life, my appreciation for this woman increased as she told me she would take care of me and wished me the best on my journey. The more we talked the more she shared her excitement for my new adventure.

As the economy affected the newspaper over the past few years, this woman always found a position for me within the company, so I could continue my passion of writing.

It will definitely be a bitter sweet goodbye when that final day comes as I walk away from my newspaper that I have become so proud of, as well as my editors who have recognized my hard work and shared wonderful compliments.

As I drove from the Cape Coral office to my office, I began brainstorming who would be so kind to write a letter of recommendation. Within an hour, my first letter appeared in my mailbox, which almost brought me to tears as I read how much of an impact I have had on this little community.

beaconThe executive director of the Beacon of H.O.P.E. truly touched me with what she wrote.

“We will be at a loss to replace her, but I am confident that she will be an asset in any endeavor she attempts,” she explained in this letter addressed to whom in may concern.

I have truly enjoyed writing about this non-profit organization that began shortly after Hurricane Charley devastated the area. Over the years, this incredible island organization has provided countless programs, which are still increasing and improving, to help island residents young to old excel in life. As I wrote articles for the Beacon, I formed a friendship with the executive director and never left the room without sharing a hug.

“She would arrive on time for any event as requested, with a smile and a curiosity to really understand what was happening. Her writing was articulate and accurate and spoke well of our community,” she continued.

One of my favorite parts of being a journalist is conducting the interview because I love finding out why people do what they do. I love digging into the subject and finding out the story behind that particular subject.  Whenever I wrote an article for the Beacon, this woman always directed me to the right person to interview and was always happy to share the history of how a particular program began.

“Meghan has been the editor of our local paper, The Pine Island Eagle, and has functioned in this role with enthusiasm, dedication and professionalism,” she wrote.

The compliments continue through the many paragraphs that grace this letter of recommendation. I am incredibly proud of these words and look forward to pass them on to the jobs in which I apply for in the very near future.

Although I am walking away from this editor position to further my career, I will never forget all the wonderful memories that were created on this little island in Southwest Florida. I will always hold these compliments close to my heart as I strive to improve my writing and path in this amazing career.

I never imagined that a career as a journalist could be so rewarding and so touching. What an amazing journey these past 16 months have been.

I truly believe the best way to get to know a community is through being a reporter because of the rapid pace in which you learn about the area and what it has to offer. This community welcomed me with open arms and provided me with an incredible learning experience as I tackled being an editor for the first time.