A lot has happened in the last two and a half years, both positive and negative, inspiring and jarring.
For example, I went from being unemployed to having a full- time job in a field that I am extremely passionate about. I'm no longer single after getting married last August. My sister also got married the same month, an apology we still owe to our father whose wallet I assume is still recovering. In 2011 I suffered health issues and ended up having surgery. Several members of my family passed away, both close and distant, including my mother.
It has been a rollercoaster of a journey from then to today, which is precisely what I wanted to tell you about. Are you ready? OK, here we go.
It was June 25, 2010, when I applied for the general assignment reporter position for The Star-News. At that time I was in a cynical place. I had been unemployed for just over a year, lived in a house with four roommates, none of whom had full-time or serious jobs and was struggling with insecurity and depression. It was unmotivating, unnerving and unsatisfying.
Then my sweet grandmother called me up on the phone one day and said, “Aly, I just saw a notice for a position in the local newspaper. You should apply.”
She had been looking for opportunities ever since I was laid off in May 2009. She always looks out for me.
So I applied. I had my interview with Carlos Davalos, the man many of you either love or hate. Let’s be honest. There is no in between.
He advised me that I would be getting paid a pittance of a wage and asked more than once if I would be OK with that.
I agreed. After all, it was a chance to write and serve the community I grew up in.
I remember leaving the interview thinking it went well, but I didn’t get my hopes up.
The following day I got an email from Carlos offering me the job. I was super excited and grateful to have the opportunity.
From the first day, although I was excited to be a full-time journalist, I also saw this job as a stepping-stone to something else. I didn’t know what that “something else” would be or when it would come along, but I knew I couldn’t stay here forever. After all, a girl needs to eat!
That being said, the months and years have come and gone and I find myself trying to freeze frame moments of time and memories.
Because here’s the thing. I have met some of the nicest, most intelligent, inspiring, enjoyable, unique and talented people while I’ve been at The Star-News covering Chula Vista and National City, experiences that have proved to be incredibly humbling. I feel that I’ve become not only a more well-rounded journalist, but person as well.
I’ve laughed, cried, (oh yes), and fumed while working for this paper. At times I have struggled in my innate desire to try and please everyone while never being able to do so. It’s been a challenge as a reporter to cover both cities fairly while juggling every other beat as well. But I did the best I could with the resources we have.
And so my journey continues. I hope that this community has enjoyed our time together as much as I have and that you’ve been able to see me as more than just a reporter asking tough questions, but my humanistic side as well.
I’ve tried my best to represent the paper in the highest standard of journalistic integrity, adhering to our code of ethics, professionalism and accuracy. I can honestly say it’s been an absolute honor to work for a paper that expanded my knowledge, resources and ability.
However, now it’s time for me to say goodbye. But don’t worry, I’ll see you around.