It's true what they say. Life happens when you're busy making other plans. When 2009 started, I was working next door in Newton County for our sister paper The Covington News. But when our original editor, Tisa Washington, made the decision that no amount of career success was worth sacrificing the chance to be there for her two young children as they grew, the powers that be asked if I would be interested in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help create a new institution and build a community legacy.
Plunging in to learn about the Rockdale and Conyers community has been one of the most daunting, warming and rewarding challenges I've faced, and I'm glad I did.
Daunting, because there's so much to see and so many fascinating people to meet and only so many hours in the day. I've found most everybody has a story to tell - and I want to tell them all.
Warming and rewarding because the hunger I find in people throughout the county for a community paper of their own tells me my work is not in vain. The reception has been nothing short of astonishing and keeps me going just when I think I can't go any further.
As a journalist and a writer, I consider it my privilege and honor as well as a solemn responsibility to tell these stories and to chronicle the lives of Rockdale and Conyers residents.
If anything, 2009 has taught me the meaning of service and sacrifice found in this job, the people who help make this paper a reality every week, and from the example I've repeatedly seen from residents, many who are going through hard times of their own, digging in to help complete strangers.
Thank you for opening your lives on the pages of this paper. I look forward to someday meeting and talking with every one of you out there.