It’s been a heck of a ride, readers. But, this chapter — for me — has come to its end.
When then-Chronicle Editor Eric Schwartz invited me to be a regular Saturday columnist almost seven years ago now, I was a full-time Chronicle employee working as their media developer. To even ever have the opportunity to call myself a columnist was, to me, one of the greatest honors of my life — even now.
Then, when the time came to leave The Chronicle in 2017 to pursue another adventure, I wasn’t sure I would be able to keep writing. In fact, I was ready and willing to hang it up. But, I was fortunate that my subsequent employer allowed me the opportunity to continue writing as an independent columnist for The Chronicle these last couple of years and I have considered every week as a columnist since as a tremendous gift and privilege.
Even then, I knew it wouldn’t last forever.
It’s bittersweet. My former editor and fellow columnist Brian Mittge used to tell me that writing a column is like taking a reader on a “date,” so-to-speak. Short, sweet, and leaves you feeling something. I also had a church pastor growing up that used to talk about how it’s not just about one sermon — it’s about having a one, three, even five-year conversation with your audience.
Seven years is a long conversation. A lot of dates over the years.
And getting to wake up, write, and share a piece of me with you each week has been, in many ways, a highlight in my life. There is part of me that’s very sad to put it down. Gosh, darn it, I’ll miss you, readers! I’ve learned so much about myself, through you, these past years. And made so many connections with so many of you. Truly, just as I cherish my memories of actually working for the paper, so too, will I cherish those memories with you.
But, all of that said of the bitter, there is the very sweet side of all of this.
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end, as the song goes, and while I’ve absolutely enjoyed every moment of writing, I am so excited for the projects I have on the horizon. Today, as a self-employed business owner, I see so many new opportunities to serve and make impacts in my community (and new communities, too) that, while I’m sad, there’s also a huge part of me that can’t wait to finish this column, send it to the editor one last time, and hit the ground running.
All in all, I’m insanely proud of my contributions to The Chronicle over the years — the conversations I’ve gotten to have with you. And I’m so grateful to The Chronicle for allowing me to write as long as they have. It has stretched and challenged me in ways I never imagined and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.
But I am more excited about the future than anything else. I’ve got some big irons in the fire.
Please continue to support The Chronicle with your likes, shares, and subscriptions. Remember that your hometown paper is far closer to you and cares far more about you than any TV news station. And, that a vibrant, robust local newspaper is essential to any community.
I’ll see you around, readers. Not here, of course, but I won’t ever be far away.
Brittany Voie is a columnist for The Chronicle. She lives south of Chehalis with her husband and two young sons. She welcomes correspondence from the community at email@example.com.