Editorial: The policies of starting over

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There are few things that we as people seem to love less than change. The disruption to our daily patterns, motions and moments rattles us so greatly that occasionally, we break under the pressure—and why wouldn’t we? As creatures so comforted by our habits, it only makes sense that sometimes it could shatter us. When a volcano goes dormant, it can remain that way for thousands of years. Ever quiet and seemingly frozen within a moment, yet everything is evolving beneath the surface. The Earth’s internal furnace melts down rock to form buoyant magma that begins a long journey upward. We see mountains unchanging, but we are not looking closely enough. Change is continuous but occasionally invisible, and it’s only once it has exploded, that we understand its inevitability. The thing is, we do not have to fear it. Starting over is a hurdle we all climb. Sometimes it is small, merely an adjustment to be made, and sometimes it takes us by storm and allows us to see what we are truly made of, with millions of shining moments waiting to be made on the other side. 

Change is something I have learned a lot about throughout my life and even more so recently. This, in truth, is what made me start writing again. They say that your best work tends to come from the fiercest of emotions, and I believe it. These waves of feeling can cloud our judgement and our skies so intensely that we can no longer really see where the light might peek through again, and what I have been learning is that feeling of anticipation, of searching for the sun; that is where the growth happens.  

When my boss handed me an editorial assignment, I had no idea what to do with it. I was unsure of what direction to go in, what to write, or how to even talk to readers but after seeking some advice, I was told, “Introduce them to the person that’s telling the stories.” So here I am, a brand new reporter writing about change, growth and starting over because that is what I am going through now. Normally, opening up about my life would feel like pulling teeth for me, and I am sure plenty of you can understand the sentiment. My hopes with this column are that I can allow you to meet me as I meet myself again. Furthermore, I hope that as I start over, those of you who may be doing the same can feel something of a sense of solidarity. Change can be heartbreaking, terrifying even, but you are not alone, and neither am I. So maybe, with the help of a few keystrokes and this amazing platform, we can begin again together. 

My name is Ashlyn Grey and it is lovely to meet you all! 

Ashlyn Grey (Olivia Law for The Cullman Tribune)

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