One never knows the twists or turns life is going to take.
A decade ago, I was running calls as a Primary Care Paramedic based out of Castor, Alberta, on the frontline of the province’s Emergency Medical Services system.
Two years later, I would find myself off the job, and struggling with my very sanity thanks to a diagnosis of work acquired post-traumatic stress disorder.
I would struggle for half a decade, eventually finding a new calling as a freelance reporter with the Castor Advance newspaper.
My writing with the paper started small with just a couple of articles a week.
Over time, however, the scope of my reporting and my responsibility with Black Press Media has grown, with my byline popping up in more and more of the central Alberta regional papers.
Words cannot describe the amount that writing has helped my mental health since I started with Black Press, nor the supportive team I have worked with in that time.
I have learned a lot from the various editors I have worked under, and with my writing continuing to grow, I decided to return to school, in addition to work.
In all honesty, if someone had told me five years ago I would be where I am today, I likely would have laughed at you.
Yet here I am.
My small role of writing a couple of articles a week has grown into writing around 20-plus per month, in addition to taking courses through the Athabasca University, working towards my English degree. It is a process I never would have started if not for taking that first step.
Speaking of steps, on Nov. 1, 2021, I took another one in my writing journey.
I jumped at an opportunity offered by Black Press Media to join their staff on a permanent basis by accepting a position as a regional reporter.
While my primary focus for now will continue to be Castor and Stettler, with the expanded role, my byline will continue to pop-up in more of the central Alberta based newspapers owned by the organization, such as the Rimbey Review, the Lacombe Express, the Ponoka News, the Bashaw Star, or the Pipestone Flyer.
Regardless of where my stories end up, I intend to keep doing the job I started four years ago to the best of my ability, while learning everything I can from the great team I have around me.