When I was first offered the position of staff writer for The Newberry Observer in June, I was incredibly nervous, to say the least. You see, even though I attended Newberry College and lived on campus each school year, I never truly lived in Newberry, so I was not real sure how living permanently away from my family would go, or how the community would react to me.
For those of you who read Elyssa’s article on my joining the paper, you already know a good bit about me, but as a refresher, I am from Moncks Corner — about 30 minutes from Charleston — and Newberry and Moncks Corner are two hours away from each other.
So I had three options when I received the job offer: turn it down and stay in Moncks Corner, have a really long commute each day to work, or move. To give of you some peace of mind, I do not commute from Moncks Corner each day. So, I looked into finding a place and, thanks to my friend Hunter Doolittle, I was able to rent a house in Joanna.
This meant I would be away from my family, which honestly is hard. You see, I have a pretty close family, to some a little too close, but it works for us.
With my dad’s death in 2010 and both of my sisters being out on their own with children, my mom and I really only had each other for company.
We spent a lot of time together. We would go to estate and yard sales, had our own yard sales, watched movies (sometimes I tricked her into watching horror films — sorry, Mom!) and basically spent a lot of time together. Moving meant all of that had to stop.
Now she is living alone with just my dog, Charlie. One of my sisters lives nearby with her family, but they cannot spend all their time with her. Naturally, deciding to leave was hard, but that is part of growing up, so my family and I packed up a good portion of my belongings and moved me here.
Since living here, I have already started doing some of the things I did in Moncks Corner. I have attended many yard sales and last weekend I went to an estate auction. I have found that I can incorporate aspects of my old life into my new life, and it is just as fun.
Being able to set my worries about family aside, I was still a tad bit worried if I would be accepted. Elyssa and Kevin both were born and raised in Newberry County. Everyone knows and loves them. Heck, when Elyssa and I attended the Little Mountain Reunion, we had a game of counting the number of people we knew who would come up and say hi.
I lost. Miserably.
Fortunately, not knowing many people did not seem to matter. I have received one of the warmest welcomes anyone could receive. I’ve had multiple people say how much they are glad I have joined the paper, and recite my entire back story (thanks to Elyssa’s article about me).
The people of Newberry County have made me feel so welcomed and appreciated that it does not seem like I am from anywhere else.
I know this is a pretty odd opening column, but I really wanted to use this as a kind of a thank you to everyone who has helped me in this journey. Thank you to my family, especially my mom, for raising me and helping me be independent and thank you to the good people of Newberry for making me feel like a life-long member of the county.
I hope that I can make each of you proud and give you yet another reason to pick up a copy of The Newberry Observer three days a week.