I have never considered myself "lucky." I don't gamble, because the few times I have, I have never won. Red lights don't flash into green as I'm approaching (yeah, yeah, I know this is more of a timing thing. But we've all tried to 'will' a red light green). I never find money in the pockets of my winter coats (who doesn't love that?).
Nope. I would not say that Lady Luck and I were ever buds.
Until now. Today, as Oak Forest Patch officially hits its one-year Patchiversary, I'm feeling pretty darn fortunate.
A few years ago, I left behind my passion for journalism for a new career path. I resigned from my position as editor of a weekly newspaper for an editing role at a textbook publishing company. More editing, less writing, less personal interaction.
No problem, I thought. Piece of cake. I can do this.
A year later, even my subconscious was telling me, "I told you so." I was itching to be back in journalism. And luckily for me, Patch was popping up everywhere. So, I took a quick look, and then I leapt. For a girl who's never met a risk she didn't run away from, this was a bold move.
I knew little about Oak Forest, I knew a teensy bit about websites—but I also knew I just had to try.
And I lucked out.
The days and weeks leading up to the site's launch, I tried to hone in on the essence of Oak Forest—who lives there, what matters to you, what you want from a site like Patch. I learned about your businesses, leaders, protectors, schools, and your neighbors. It's been a process, and you've been patient.
The day we flipped the switch and Oak Forest Patch went live, I held my breath with my hopes high. And luckily for me, you welcomed me and your Patch with open arms. I burst onto the scene in your community, and you've embraced me as one of your own.
You've helped make Patch what it is. And there's so much more we hope to become. You and I make a good team, Oak Forest. It's been a wild ride and I can't wait to see what's ahead.
But for now, let's take a look back:
- How about the Hille band director who has made a pretty big name for himself? Remember him?
- Or what about that local crooner whose curly locks graced the American Idol stage?
- And don't forget the chronicle of his fiancé's recovery.
- And then there was the hostage hoax, which left many speechless.
- Have you met Isabella, the beautiful little girl born to the local woman who didn't know she was pregnant?
- Together, you and I welcomed home Sgt. Jeffrey Kurek, Sgt. Merrill Healy, and Specialist Michael Kalis.
- You and I have hashed out issues about speed and stink, and weathered one heck of a storm. We kinda rock.
Thank you for this first year. I'm blessed to have not only found my place back in journalism, but even more so to have found a place in your hearts, homes and community.
... I think I'll go buy a lottery ticket.