The Unintended Consequence Of Happiness

Emotions are a funny thing.

(I know what you’re thinking: “Wow, this dude is so deep and original!”)

I know, I know. I’m far from the first person to make such a claim, nor will I be the last. It’s something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, though. To be more specific, I’ve been noticing how a person can feel two things that completely contradict one another at the same time.

A couple days ago, one of my closest friends shared a Facebook memory from eight years ago that showed up on her wall. It was a photo of us clowning for the camera during a night on the town when we were in college. I remember the night well, and when I first saw it I laughed and felt really happy just being reminded of a fond memory.

At the same time — maybe just a second or two after the laughter subsided — I also felt a small wave of sadness roll through me. While I’ve made countless happy memories since the night that photo was taken, I couldn’t help but realize I can never get that particular moment back. We just look so happy, so carefree.

Truthfully, I know the picture doesn’t alway tell the whole story. I know at that time in my life I had my share of stressors and worries; I had homework, the impending unknown of life after college and Lord knows what going on in my personal life. But those aren’t the memories that flood back when I see the snapshot. Only the happiness of that singular moment can flow through the mind’s dam.

I guess the unevenness of seeing that photo was a bit of a microcosm of what’s been happening in my brain almost continuously for the past couple weeks. My thoughts have been simultaneously torn between feelings of happiness and melancholy, excitement and fear.

For those of you who haven’t heard, this is my second-to-last blog post as a staff member at the Daily Globe. Two weeks from Friday will be my last day as I have accepted a news/web editor position at The Emporia Gazette in Emporia, Kan., the place I worked before moving to Worthington two years ago.

My emotions on the matter are mixed to say the least.

I’m excited to take on the challenges the new and very different position will present. I’m excited to work a “normal” — or at least more consistent — schedule. I’m excited to be taking what I feel is a positive step forward in my career. I’m happy that I get to do all of that in a community I care about where I already have friends and feel comfortable.

I’m also scared. It’s a big change and I love covering sports. While I’m hopeful — even confident — this will be a good move and one I’ll be happy with, there’s no guarantee that will be the case. To be honest, I can’t even say with absolute certainty that I’ll be good at it. It’s frightening to dive into the unknown without the promise of a safety net. All I can do is have faith in myself and jump.

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Even more than all of that is the requisite sadness that comes with making such a change. During the past two years, I’ve built relationships with coworkers and others within the community; bonds I cherish and hope continue long after I change zip codes. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know some fantastic people whom I will forever feel blessed to have in my life.

During my time at the Daily Globe, not only have my coworkers been a blast to spend time with in the office, it has also been an honor to be a part of their team. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some incredibly talented people who have inspired me in more ways than I could count. For that, a simple “Thank you” isn’t nearly enough.

I so deeply appreciate all of the kind words I’ve received throughout my time in Worthington from folks all around the coverage area. The coaches, athletes, parents, fans and readers all over southwest Minnesota are second-to-none and have helped make my experience here a good one.

Sometime in the future, whether it’s two months or two decades from now, I’ll stumble upon photos of a wonderful memory made in Worthington. Naturally, it will put a big smile on my face. Looking back, I’ll be happy. But I’ll be a little sad, too.

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