Today, students around Northeastern Pennsylvania are headed to their first day of college classes.
It’s been six years since I was a freshman, but I can’t help to relate to them this week.
And no, I’m not going back to school.
I’m starting a new job today. But don’t worry, I’m still in NEPA, just a little farther north.
Today is my first day as a producer at WNEP.
To be honest, I’m a little nervous. Much like the first day of college, I don’t know what to expect. I definitely have the first-day jitters, and I keep wondering if I’m going to make a good first impression.
It’s a little bittersweet, too.
For the past almost three years, I’ve called the Times Leader home. I started part-time here my senior year at Marywood as an obituary clerk, and since then have taken on a lot of different jobs.
I have spent a lot of time getting to know and love Wilkes-Barre and Luzerne County. As I have said before, I spend more time down here than I do with most of my family.
So to not be driving into town today is a very weird feeling for me.
I don’t know the next time I’ll run over to Chill Grill for lunch, or down to Senunas’ on the press.
I won’t be walking into the newsroom and taking my seat next to staff writer Bill O’Boyle, or heading into Executive Editor Joe Soprano’s office to ask for help writing a column.
No matter how much I have prepared myself for this moment, it still seems strange to me. I’m just hoping I don’t accidentally drive to Wilkes-Barre instead of Montage.
I have suddenly been pushed out of my comfort zone, and it’s a little nerve-wracking.
But it’s also exciting.
I have new things to learn, and I get to work behind the scenes at a television station, which is something I have always wanted to do. And being able to do so at the news station I grew up with is another fulfilling moment for me professionally.
While I will still get my fill of Luzerne County news, I will have new areas to explore and learn about so I can serve people in a lot of communities across the region.
Being pushed out of our comfort zones is always scary, but almost always a good thing. That’s how we learn. If we never got uncomfortable, we would stop growing.
And I keep telling myself these things, but it doesn’t make it any easier.
But isn’t that’s what life should be all about?
If we never take chances and accept new challenges, how do we become better stronger people?
Last fall, a few friends of mine challenged me to do the Scranton Half Marathon.
I’m not a runner, but there was that inner voice of mine telling to give it a shot. The same voice that has me headed to WNEP today instead of my beloved Times Leader.
I listened to that voice then … And you know what, I learned something.
I learned that half marathons are incredibly hard. But I also learned with a lot of hard work and support from my friends I could finish one.
So I’ve listened to that voice again and accepted this latest challenge to come my way.
None of us should shy away from challenges.
It’s too easy to say something is too hard to accomplish or that’s not something that you can do when presented with a challenge.
Next time you are in that situation, listen to that little voice that says go for it.
If you need a little support, you will still be able to find me right here every Monday. (Thanks to the good folks at the Times Leader and WNEP for letting me continue my column.)
And I’m pretty damn sure those first-day jitters will be long gone by then.
To read more Brigid Says columns, click here.
Brigid Says appears every Monday in the Times Leader. Brigid Edmunds-Lawrence can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @brigidedmunds.