Grandstrand: Thank you and goodbye
Four years ago, I was a college and grad school graduate who felt like she just couldn’t get a break. I was working in retail part-time trying to find anything full-time with benefits, whether I used by journalism degrees or not.
It got to be so bad that I called my parents, crying, asking them to help me move from Chicago, a city I loved dearly and never wanted to leave. My reasoning: I needed a change for things to start changing. And it worked.
We emptied out the amazing Rogers Park one-bedroom I loved so much on May 15, 2010, and by August I was working here, at The Dickinson Press.
I can’t believe that was four years ago. It seems both like yesterday and like a million years ago.
A lot has changed in four years. iPhones have gone from a rich person novelty to something everyone and their mother (mine included) has. Back then, people actually got DVDs from Netflix and it didn’t have original series.
A lot has changed in Dickinson, too. Areas that were empty fields when I first moved here now hold new stores, offices, houses and apartment buildings. I’ve gotten to cover the openings of so many new stores, including Dickinson’s first big-box store in nearly a decade when Menards opened in February.
I would like to think I’ve changed in the four years since I left Chicago — more than the 40 pounds I’ve gained thanks to all the amazing food here.
When you’re just out of college, it’s easy to feel like you’re just playing grown-up rather than functioning as an actual adult.
Sure, you pay the bills and do your dishes, but then you find yourself binge watching “Fraggle Rock” on Netflix on your time off, which makes you question that age on your driver’s license.
But then you realize you shut the TV off at a decent time because you need to be up in the morning and that kind of validates your age.
Another sign of growing up is realizing when you’ve made the right (and wrong) decisions, and I know taking the job here in Dickinson was the absolutely right choice for me.
I’ve met many amazing people here — I wish I could single you all out — not only working at The Press, but through my other job. Some of you might recognize me as one of the girls from Bath and Body Works in the mall. I’ve made some amazing friends at both jobs — the kind that stay friends for life.
Monday was my last day, but it didn’t really feel final. Maybe it’s because I’m a procrastinator and left so many things to the last minute, and I’m more worried about my to-do list than anything else. Or maybe it’s because doors don’t really close unless you want them to in this day and age.
So I did some growing up in Dickinson, made some friends and now it’s time for me to move on. I’ve had some great adventures here and I’m ready for the next one.
Thank you to everyone who has made me feel so welcome and loved here in Dickinson.
Grandstrand has been a reporter for The Dickinson Press for nearly four years. She covered nearly every beat, aside from sports, won numerous awards and was instrumental in starting The Drill and Our Town publications.