As of the tail end of July, I have been at the York News Times for one year – one exciting, rewarding, happily-challenging year, peppered with a few averted crises, personal sacrifices and even tears.

Out of curiosity, I did a search for myself on the York News Times website to look at the stories I’ve written in the past year. I didn’t realize how many stories, new friends and experiences I’ve been blessed with the past year. Some of the articles I haven’t thought about for a while, but I have never forgotten about anyone.

That’s how special they are to me.

I’ve covered everything from a man who makes magic with a crochet hook, to school board meetings, to the York area’s amazing robotics programs.

I could fill an entire York News Times front page with how much Yorkites have embraced this Exetarian and welcomed me into the area. It means so much to me that people trust me to tell their stories and invite me to get involved in the community. I love it that there are people who feel free to text me – even after hours – because we’re that comfortable with one another.

It’s those things – among others – that have blessed my life the past year. Sure, there are a handful of names who have made my fecal roster, but I do everything I can to mask my feelings, set aside their status on the list and write the best, fairest, most relevant and responsible story I can. Sometimes it’s hard, but I like to think my efforts have been successful. (As my mother says, “Hell hath no fury like a Votipka left scorned.”)

Those hiccups aren’t always bad. They are teachable moments, and character builders.

A few months into my tenure at the York News Times a friend mentioned how much happier and more energized I’d been. She said revisiting journalism seemed to have a positive impact on my life.

“You’re in the right place,” she said.

I couldn’t agree more.

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