OPINION

The toughest decision I have ever made

Staff Writer
Devils Lake Journal

What is the toughest decision you have ever made?

Looking over at the clock on my desktop computer as I put the final touches on designing a page for today's edition, I realize that my time in the Devils Lake Journal office is winding down.

In the next few minutes, I will be saying my customary "Good night" wishes to the employees still in the office. I have done it for more than a year-and-a-half, so why would I do anything else?

This reminds me that in a week, I will be in a new setting. In less than five days, I won't be in Devils Lake or in the friendly confines of the Journal building.

Instead, I will find myself in a completely unfamiliar setting in fact.

When I leave the office Monday afternoon, I will not be employed full-time as a newspaper reporter for the first time in seven years.

As I sit here trying to write one of my final columns, I am reminded of how different it will be. There won't be any more banter with co-workers, no time on the phone setting up interviews or early mornings designing pages for that day's newspaper.

With each of these realizations, I can't help but think how different my daily life is going to be next week.

Despite giving my notice around two months ago, I haven't thought about the end very often.

Tonight, however, as I strategize how to get everything packed up, it's all I can think about.

And I am reminded that this is the toughest decision I have ever made.

I truly love this community and this job. So, what led me to making the most difficult choice of my life to date?

For the first time in 27 years, I am making a career decision based on my health. It's been a battle the past 24 months as I have tried to carry on through an array of different medical issues.

Two major surgeries later, I am happy to report I am feeling better.

But, I am not healthy. I'm tired and continue to fend off health battles every week to make it through work.

To be honest, it's not fair to anyone. I haven't been able to give the Journal or you the readers my best. It's like an athlete taking the field or court when they know they aren't 100 percent.

I haven't been 100 percent for a long time and I need to try change that.

So, I am going back home to Mayville. My goal is to get back on my feet, eat right, begin proper sleep habits and do what I have to do to become healthy for the first time since I can remember.

This has been a decision that has eaten me alive for the past couple months. I want to be in Devils Lake, I want to be a newspaper reporter and I want to continue to work with officials, coaches and co-workers that I have built positive relationships with since I have been here.

I NEED to take care of myself.

Through this process, I have been reminded why I hate making decisions. Sometimes, you wish could still be a fifth-grade student whose toughest choice is which sport to play at recess.

For now, I can't think about the decision any more. It's been made.

While I know I am going to miss all aspects of this community, job and social life, it is now my job to make the most of my new opportunities.

I begin slowly cleaning off my desk to head home for the night. Then I start thinking that it's not the decisions that we make for ourselves that determines our path.

Instead, it's about making the most out of that choice while constantly moving forward. That’s what I hope to do.