This column is almost 30 years in the making. Here is a Cliffnotes version of why I am back in my hometown.
I left for college in West Tennessee in August 1990. After a year there proving I was serious enough about my education I transferred to UT Knoxville. I completed my course work, graduated, got the job, got married, got the home and in 2015 got the divorce.
I was at a crossroads moment in my life. The world was my oyster, but where was my heart telling me to go? The answer was where I grew up and always called home.
I have been asked several times why I came back. There are two reasons: my mom and dad. I was close enough in Knoxville, but I didn’t see them as often as I should have or wanted to. I decided I wasn’t going to could’ve, would’ve or should’ve any more time away. They’re fine, but priorities shift and family comes first.
So, three years ago a plan was set in motion to move back to McMinnville. The process began with getting my house ready to put on the market. I’m handy enough with home projects but knew when to call the professionals.
Slow and steady didn’t win the race but completed it. Several trips back and forth moving items from there to here were made. Then finally I left the Monday after Easter. My house was on the market. There were 19 showings that Monday and part of Tuesday. An offer was made and accepted. All my hard work paid off and things were getting real. No turning back.
I took the summer off to catch my breath and get settled in to my new normal. I enjoyed this time and glad I could just be for a while. It was time to get busy again and get to work.
The new work adventure began last September when I joined the Southern Standard. The task was to develop an all-new and digital-only product called We Are MT. This entity is a newsletter and website that focused on 10 Middle Tennessee counties.
We Are MT would provide up to date business news, county information, contacts, feature stories and employment opportunities for our expanded neighborhood and community. This was a wonderful opportunity to use my past work experience and reacquaint myself to Middle Tennessee. I have met so many great folks and learned so much.
Another new beginning starts here. I will continue to manage the content of We Are MT. I will also now be part of the Editorial Staff. I look forward to this opportunity to get the news out to you and express myself with this column. If you see me out and about please say hello and let’s catch up. It’s good to be home again.
Standard reporter Jennifer Woods can be reached at 473-2191.