Tucked into a drawer of my coffee table is a column written almost eight years ago by a slightly less wrinkly and definitely less grey-haired version of myself.
Yet to have taken the plunge into reproduction, boundless amounts of energy propelled me to use the weekly platform the Capital News offered to do the print equivalent of screaming into a paper bag about all the issues that made being 30-ish particularly hard.
The issue that had me all riled up and turning phrases like a verbal gymnast — ah, the energy of youth— was housing.
How could I, the gist was, a cash-poor Gen Xer ever afford a home in this ridiculously overpriced market?
Lamenting the waste and greed of baby boomers who lived in big houses on the hillside, I said those of us who actually contribute to a service-based economy deserve to enjoy the fruits of our labour and grow roots in the community we call home. Then I went on-and-on about some sanctimonious “old-guy” in some high place telling me I should get ready to move to the outskirts if I really wanted to enter the housing market. Now, from my writing perch in Peachland, it’s even more clear he was wrong. Even the outskirts became prohibitive for someone who’s just getting their economic bearings.
There are a few more of these little columns tucked around my house, too.
A couple of them are about the puppy I met and the mister who followed. As the local population boomed, they gave me roots and a reason to stay in the valley. Time moves fast. He’s a senior now—the puppy, not the mister, although that one is on his way.
Those roots bloomed into a family life that I’ve exploited endlessly in print—particularly my little human, who stopped me from worrying so much about my own personal track and more about the one I was carving out for him. My apologies for some overwrought the end-is-nigh commentary, but, you know, you’ve heard about the environmental issues we’re facing, right? THE. END. IS. NIGH.
It’s been a privilege to record all these personal musings and milestones in print. But all good things come to an end, and so too will the column that I used to discuss my life and contemplate my view of the larger issues of the day.
All that ink spilled onto your doorsteps, and all the responses it garnered over the years, fuelled me while I kept plonking away on my keyboard, for better or worse alongside so many others who were also plonking away, for better or worse, happily ever after.
The thing about this job is that it doesn’t feel like work when it’s going well. It’s a calling, if not a compulsion.
At its most basic, being a reporter takes a thick skin, quick(ish) wit and, these days, lightning fast typing skills. Some elevate that into something inspirational.
There have been stories over the years, from this publication and some of its competitors that rival what you may have read at some of the biggest dailies in Canada and beyond. There are so many local stories that deserve exploration and to be told with compassion and consideration. Reading these and talking to the people with whom they originate has been an inspiration to keep writing and exploring.
Now, however, it’s time for this reporter to turn a page and go out of print.
Thanks for reading, or using this to pack your dishes and line your birdcages. New adventures await. Or maybe it’s time for me to join all the other former print folk and actually scream my many opinions into a paper bag.