By Renee Williams
On endings and new beginning: Inaugural editor’s notes are always difficult to write and writing them on the heels of my predecessor, Karin Calloway fuels the difficulty, of course. It is a poignant experience and there is inevitably some sadness involved but there is also a greater sense among us that the change is timely and rewarding. I find these thoughts both moving and inspiring because the great paradox of life is that with every ending comes a new beginning. Life goes on, insisting that we move with it.
When Bart Giamatti announced his retirement as president of Yale University, he was asked why he had decided to retire at the young age of 48 and at a time when he was widely admired and respected. He answered that, no matter how well you are doing, there comes a time when “you hear footsteps.” Giamatti went on to say, “I’ve always thought it was important to be the first to hear them.” Turns out Giamatti was right because shortly after resigning from Yale, he was offered the position of Commissioner of Major League Baseball.
I heard the footsteps in 2011 when I was working in the child welfare system and began considering a career change. This was an unexpected period of reflection for me and I began to think about what it would mean to really just follow my dreams of being a writer. This was a dream that started within me as a seed as a young girl and I knew then that I wanted to write but I had not found the faith to nourish the seed. Even though I wasn’t sure about the precise shape or form of that life that I wanted, I knew it was pivotal that I create a new beginning.
So I began my journey and enrolled in a travel writing class, attended writer’s workshops, volunteered for book signings, started blogging, connected with other writers and began pitching story ideas to various publications. I received multiple rejection letters but I preserved. I began writing poems for a self help forum in the United Kingdom (Me? Writing poems? Woah!) and eventually became a Huffington Post contributor, lifestyle blogger and have worked with many local publications to include Augusta Family, Metro Spirit, Metro Courier, Georgia Music and The Augusta Chronicle.
So with a blur of mixed feelings and farewells, I say hello to you and hello to my new role as editor, hello to deadlines and and everything else being an editor entails.
Moving forward, what you will find in the pages of Augusta Family is a collection of inspired articles from writers who are real, honest and down-to-earth parents who work hard and who are not afraid to admit the struggles we sometimes face. We don’t always get it right, our houses aren’t perfect, we aren’t perfect and believe it or not, our children aren’t perfect either. We stay informed, we do our best but we are also realistic and flexible.
I am honored to be taking on the helm at Augusta Family and sharing the work of so many committed and thoughtful people. Our staff has big plans for this magazine but we will never lose sight of the fact that it belongs to you. Help us tell the stories that you find the most touching, engaging and important by letting us hear from you. We appreciate your support and are so happy to have you as readers.
If you are also facing an ending or a new beginning, I encourage you to connect with the spirit of optimism and hope. Ignite whatever courage you need to take your dream seeds and grow them with fierce determination and use it to fuel your desires. Follow your dreams because they know the way.
This article appears in the February 2017 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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