Working at a newspaper, I’ve been in the unique position to watch as the first mainstream story about the coronavirus came across the wire and evolved into the global pandemic we have all been living through. Since mid-March, I have only worked from home twice (and it was abysmal) while many departments worked remotely from home. With some state restrictions now being lifted, I have found myself trying to adapt to seeing more than three people in the office at a time. I fear my days of working in blissful silence will soon be coming to an end.
Aside from many changes at work, my life has (seemingly) been minimally impacted by the pandemic compared to my family and friends. I haven’t been able to go to the gym or pottery studio, but as a single person who isn’t a picky eater, the early weeks of barren shelves at the grocery store didn’t cause me undue stress. Social distancing and stay-at-home orders gave me an excuse not to go out and to get some work done around the house on my days off. Some personal projects, like starting my vegetable garden and doing online classes, have finally been checked off my to-do list and I’ve been able to do a lot of thinking about my personal life and future ambitions.
After seven and a half years of working for newspapers, I put in my notice in May and will officially be leaving at the end of July. I realized that as an artistic person I need a better outlet for my creativity and I wouldn’t get that with my current job. I will be getting back into graphic design work with a focus on my first love: illustration. The most creative thing I have done in months is a ‘goodbye page’ for a former coworker. The joy I felt after that project solidified the knowledge that I had made the right decision and am moving on to something I will enjoy much more. Our former health reporter agreed my talents of illustrating cupcakes was wasted at the newspaper.