Two years have gone by too fast

Published 7:30 am Wednesday, June 21, 2023

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Today marks exactly two years since I came on board with the Andalusia Star-News.

It’s truly a blessing to have a job I love and one where I can serve the community and Covington County as the staff writer of my hometown newspaper.

With that being said, I would like to reflect on my second year. There were highs and lows, but nonetheless, I persevered and met many people who allowed me to share their stories with others. I have struggled with my confidence level as far back as I can remember, but as the year went by, that began to change for the better.

I’m not one to brag but am proud of myself for taking charge of my health and losing weight since the beginning of the year. Since then, I have gotten my blood pressure and heart rate back on track along with feeling better about myself. This healthy lifestyle coupled with the success of another year working here has really helped boost my confidence.

I felt like my first year propelled me into my second year where I saw additional growth and success. From meeting new people to writing articles for the newspaper and our quarterly Absolutely Andalusia magazine, it was a great year. Although I’m not a professional photographer, I have been doing my best to get better with my photography skills thanks to guidance from our office manager Lisa. She always does an incredible job with her work, and I’m grateful for her continued support. I’m excited to share my work for this summer’s magazine in July and had a blast with the stories I have put together. Stay tuned for those in a few weeks.

Not only have I been writing and capturing photos, but I have also been talking to local businesses about advertising opportunities. Our new multimedia marketing specialist Jakelyn has done a great job since she started three months ago and brought in several new advertisers. She and our advertising manager Ruck work really well together. I have also helped our publisher Robert with several tasks and assignments. He has allowed me to take over the e-Edition three days a week, and I was able to even put out two print editions while he was away on vacation. He told us to call if we needed him, but we handled everything and let him enjoy his well-deserved time off.

I tell myself every day God put me at the Andalusia Star-News for a reason and how privileged I’ve been to learn as much as possible. The only way to go from here is up. Summer will be over before we know it, and high school sports will return in full swing. These athletic events definitely keep us on our toes, but it’s a pleasure to recognize our county’s teams, coaches, and players who give it their all at the sports they love. I plan to continue taking everything one day at a time and see where it leads me.

God has been with me every step of the way and continues to guide me along on this journey of a lifetime. Two years have passed by in the blink of an eye, and I’m beyond blessed with a second year full of more growth, continued success, and a boost in my confidence.

Matthew 19:26 says, “With God, all things are possible.” Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Who knows what is in store for year three? Only He knows, and this writer can’t wait to find out.

— Zack Maio is a staff writer for the Andalusia Star-News.