COLUMN: So long, farewell

I’ve been rewriting this column in my head for the past three weeks and I believe the fewer words, the better. It’s not even technically a column by definition, but oh well.

On Sunday, Sept. 3 — after four years and two months — I will no longer be a sports writer for The Journal.

I never intended to be here for as long as I have, I figured after two years I’d move onto something else. But after numerous setbacks, I found myself gravitating toward what little stability I had here.

I’d be lying if I said the past four years weren’t rough — it’s really difficult to make a decent living in newspapers. Moving to a small town in an unfamiliar state away from friends and family is not an easy thing to do.

However, there’s a certain charm about New Ulm that I’ll certainly miss. I’ve always considered New Ulm’s mix of a mountain/valley town aesthetic very welcoming and I’ll always remember that fondly. I’m a big fan of hills and foresty areas, and New Ulm definitely has a pleasant atmosphere to it.

To be frank, small-town life is not for me. I spent most of my life in Des Moines, Iowa, which has a metropolitan population of more than 630,000 and a lot of things to do. With that said, I’ve always felt out of place in a town just shy of 14,000 people.

The twice-yearly drives to my parents’ house were long and grueling, and getting up to the Twin Cities to see my friends was no picnic either. The more isolated I felt, the more difficult things became.

A city kid like me isn’t cut out for small-town life, akin to how a person from a small town might consider big cities to be suffocating.

But on the bright side, living in New Ulm taught me to grow up. I arrived on July 3, 2013, with nothing but a car-full of my stuff as a naïve 22-year-old fresh out of Iowa State University, clueless about what adulthood had in store.

Through some trial and a lot of error, however, I was able to make it somehow work.

That’s something for which my generation gets criticized a lot is how easily we tend to flee when things get difficult. I’ve met many people my age who are like that, but I’ve always prided myself on seeing things through to the end and I’m glad I could say I am able to leave on my own terms.

The timing is not optimal. I would have much rather made this move during the summer when we didn’t have a whole lot going on. Fall is probably my favorite sports season, so it’s not easy to leave at this point.

But life can present opportunities at inopportune times and I know I will regret it if I don’t take this new job in Mankato.

With all that said, I’ve overstayed my welcome in New Ulm and it’s time for me to go. I’m staying on to design and send the sports pages until the end of the week and after that, I’ll turn in my key and hit the road.

I’m excited for what’s next for me in life, but I’ll never forget the years I spent here. So thank you.