My first day of work in Petersburg was nine years ago today. It’s been a crazy run since then. I went from Petersburg to Hopewell to Jacksonville, North Carolina, to Hopewell again and now here I am in Charlottesville.
I didn’t intend to move so much. I didn’t intend to be a reporter. I didn’t expect to wind up in a supervisory position of sorts.
I regretted going to Petersburg almost immediately. Running around in the wilds of Dinwiddie County was the opposite of my weird dream of editing copy. I missed all the friends and experiences I left in Hampton Roads and I lamented not being in Richmond. Over time, the Tri-Cities grew on me to the point that I’ve driven through several times since officially leaving in September 2012.
How could I not? I spent about six years on the banks of the mighty Appomattox.
I’m glad that I wound up in Petersburg. I met so many people because I was there. I made new friends, I gained a wealth of experience and I wouldn’t be sitting here now if I hadn’t been there.
The amount of things that have changed since then is amazing. I was still on AOL Instant Messenger. This blog was still on LiveJournal. My cell phone not only was a flip phone, it didn’t have a camera. I rarely texted. Tablet computers didn’t exist. My laptop still had a floppy disk drive. We had YouTube, but videos weren’t going viral. Facebook was still fresh. MySpace was clinging to life. Only birds were tweeting.
It seems like such a short time ago, but it’s so far away.
When I went to the Progress-Index a few months ago, I was shocked at how much older everyone looked. Then I remembered that I hadn’t set foot in that place in more than six years.
I can’t help but wonder where this journalistic adventure will take me next. September will be three years here. Four months after that, I’ll begin breaking my record for my longest total tenure at a paper. I never intended to jump ship every 2¼ years on average.
Regardless of what happens next, this year is going to be a good one. And an interesting one.
I haven’t said this in a while: Live from Central Virginia, this is EXIT 265C and this is the viaduct. I’m continuing to hope that the road of life isn’t a beltway.
Sit back, relax and vicariously enjoy the randomness that is me.