Last Day

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The last 8 years are a blur of first and last days. And while it’s everything in between that matters, the bookends certainly stand out. 

The last day is an interesting mix of last-minute paperwork, handshakes, well wishes, and frantically searching for receipts and electronic equipment checked out to you on the first day.

It’s been a while since I had a last day, and I forgot how bittersweet they can be. 

I was laid off from the Missoulian newspaper, and so my friends gathered at a local watering hole to wish me well. It was three years before that when my friends at the Statesman Journal gathered around to read from the employee quotes collection.

I came to Alaska a little shaken up from the layoff, but the challenge of rebuilding the digital department and the amazing world of innovative communications in Alaska proved enough to reinvigorate my passion for great journalism.

I remember wanting to see Denali every chance I got. I would crane my head in the car any time a clear day revealed the behemoth to the Anchorage bowl. I would look into the clump of trees across the parking lot from my office window and wonder if I could see it. 

Last year they cut the trees down, and now I can look up and see the mountain any time it’s not obscured by clouds. I’m going to miss that view.

Today I sent some emails, compiled items in my care, sent last-minute dispatches to members of my web team and chatted with my friends. The finality of it crawls in like the tide. Pretty soon the sand runs out, and you punch the clock for the final time. 

You only get so many meaningful jobs in your life. You either stay in those jobs for a long, long time, or you regret that you did not work them longer. 

The chance to work at Alaska’s best news source was that collision of rare circumstances. Good people passionate about their work, beloved by their state, beholden to the principles of great journalism, adventure and family. 

To my colleagues, thank you for all that you showed me. To my friends, thank you for getting us through the long dark winters and for your fellowship during the longest days of summer. To the KTUU family, I think Rhonda McBride said it best, –  Piuraa. (Be as you are)

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