I’m coming up on my fourth anniversary as a journalist, and I realize that I’ve taken part in more activities and events than some people do in a lifetime.
On the 19th of February, I celebrated my one year anniversary at the Northern Pen. And by celebrate, I mean I went to the gym and basically had a regular day.
But anniversaries are important. They are milestones of accomplishments.
For me, one year at the Northern Pen not only meant a year in St. Anthony, it also meant a year being away from my family and friends, being 100 per cent independent and surviving the biggest life change I have had to date.
Anniversaries allow you to look back on the previous year and remember the best and worst experiences. They could be personal or professional.
For me, the best parts of the past year were getting to experience the beauty of the Great Northern Peninsula and meet hundreds of amazing people.
Personally, some of the highlights for me included getting to see my first iceberg up close, I took my first trip to Labrador and saw many of the unique landscapes found along the peninsula. I’ve made a few close friends, and have even experienced a few losses along the way.
I’ve been to lighthouses in Port au Choix, Cape Norman and L’Anse Amour. And I’ve taken the 476 stairs at Fishing Point several times and concluded that with some meditation at the top, enjoying the million dollar view.
I’ve played softball and volleyball, although neither really had great outcomes. I still have a scar on my calf from when I collided with one of the high school boys while covering first base. What can I say, I’m competitive. But I’d never change that day for the world.
I took my first snowmobile ride and went out in a speed boat on the ocean for the first time.
And I strongly believe that out of all the places I’ve lived in my 30 years on this earth, the GNP has some of the strongest and most influential women I have ever met.
Professionally, I’m not sure where to begin.
I’ve developed strong relationships through some of the stories I’ve written and got to visit so many places.
Flower’s Cove is one of those places that whenever I visit, I feel welcomed with open arms, no matter the event.
I’m a bit of a municipal politics nerd, so it’s exciting that I have learned how different councils operate and different issues they have experienced, in comparison to the other towns I’ve covered before.
Getting to experience some of the culture and heritage of the area is always a plus, especially when I get paid to do it. So L’Anse aux Meadows, especially Norstead, is high on my experience list.
I can’t mention my highlights without reminding the public that I got lost in Croque, the community with only two roads. I laugh at it now, as I’m sure officer Parris does as well.
After only a year here, I have learned so much, and it’s a place everyone should experience at least once. The pride of the communities, the excitement of the locals to get involved and the support that is seen between towns is second to none.
This first year has been one to remember.
— Melissa Jenkins is the editor of the Northern Pen, a typical city girl living the rural life. She can be reached at Melissa.firstname.lastname@example.org