As 2018 ends I’m right where I’m supposed to beBy JAMES PHILLIPS,
Saying that this year has been a learning experience would be a bit of an understatement. I would never have imagined that after an unexpected course change in my life, I would move on to finally realize of deep seeded dream to put my words to paper for publication, and to start a weekly editorial column that has been a true blessing. For the longest time my cynical ways forced me to stay out of the spotlight, but when the opportunity at The Scott County Times presented itself I could resist no longer.
Reflecting on how I got here, it all comes back to the opportunity I got to join the newspaper under the leadership of Tim Beeland, who took a chance on a passionate writer that had never really written for publication. As a result, I’ve gotten to experience some truly incredible things. I have always loved storytelling and I became enthralled with journalism almost instantly. I realized how much I love sitting across a table from another person with a notepad in hand, and listen to them talk about all the things they’re passionate about. Most of all, I have fulfilled my dream by writing and telling these stories.
As a result of my involvement with The Scott County Times, I’ve had the opportunity to get reacquainted and work with people I had not seen in decades. This has been a truly uplifting experience and has been a big part of getting reacquainted here at home after living at the beach for two decades.
I remember being filled with nervous excitement on May 2 when I first took a seat at the deask I now man. I have always loved feeling the presence of fresh opportunity in the air, and it was everywhere that day. As this year has transpired, I have learned so much through ideas, collaborations, experiences, almost failures and working with all the wonderful people of Scott County. It has been a true blessing I’ll never take for granted.
The experiences thus far at the paper go far beyond any regular job. I’m not saying it has been easy. From staying up ‘til 5 a.m. to get stories and football coverage ready for press, to learning from my mistakes and dealing with the consequences, there has not been a dull moment here at my desk. Everything I have done in my life prepared me for this position and how to stumble and get back up again, and learn how to take a tough stance and speak out even when it’s hard. Taking what I’ve learned since moving into this position in May, I’m excited for the continued challenge, and grateful to those who have taught and guided me along the way.
I consider myself an incredibly blessed man. I have always had such an amazing support system in my life for which I will be forever grateful and thankful. Believe me, I say “thank you” for my blessings every day.
Throughout my 40 eventful years there has been one amongst many that has loved me unconditionally while supporting me, pushing me and challenging me in everything I do, and have done. She has pushed for me to write for years and was really the motivating factor in applying for the News Editor position. Each Wednesday morning when she excitedly opens the paper directly to the Opinion Page to read my column, I can almost feel how proud she is and that is better, and more satisfying, than any amount of money this world has to offer.
In short, I believe I’m right where I’m supposed to be, doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.
I can’t wait to see what 2019 holds.