Enjoy the stroll

A blank document has been open on my computer all day.

I’m not sure how to start, or I guess how to end.

This is my last column as sports editor at The Shield. Anything I write in the future will be from a different seat in the newsroom.

I’m ready for that new seat.

I owe my experience and a lot of confidence I never expected to have to the sports editor position and the people who put me in it.

I workshopped under someone who never made me feel like I was doing a bad job.

Honestly, they always made me feel like I was doing more than expected, but I always assumed the expectations were pretty low. I think they weren’t used to having a workshop student who wanted to do anything they handed them.

After finishing a semester as a workshop student, the editor-in-chief at the time offered me the sports editor position. I didn’t know what I was getting into. I did know I was going to say yes.

I thought for sure I wanted to be a sports journalist. I never doubted it. I really thought when I entered USI I had found my career path and along with it, a passion.

The farther I got down that path, the more I felt like maybe I’d taken a wrong turn.

People were still telling me I was doing a good job and the occasional comment disagreeing with a column didn’t bother me. There was no outside force making me question where I was.

I was taking steps for the section, steps in the right direction.

But I realized I wasn’t sure about the path those steps were leading me down anymore.

I started to see a difference in the work I produced and I was worried others did, too. The sports section matters to me and I didn’t want my own concerns to affect it so obviously.

I’m not saying I will never write about sports again. It’s just something I don’t believe I could be happy doing for the rest of my life.

Pouring years into any beat I’m not happy in doesn’t work for me. I care too much about the content I produce, the people I work with and the readers to let that happen.

If you’re walking down a path devoid of passion, you need to find a new path.

There are definite aspects of the section I will miss.

I learned a lot about sports I never would have investigated in another position. I made connections and heard stories I would have missed out on.

I loved live coverage of basketball. I felt like it was the only time I got to know the athletes. I would see the players and coaches twice every other week and I developed a level of comfort talking to them. Whether that was one-sided or not, I don’t know, but I hoped they felt comfortable in all of our post-game interviews.

I wish I could say I am 100 percent confident moving forward that I’ve found a new path.

But really, moving into the editor-in-chief position seems like stepping onto a bridge between paths.

I’m hoping my direction lies on the other side, so whenever I’m asked what I want to do when I graduate, I will actually have an answer — one beat people accept without question. Even more than that, I want to confidently know for myself that I have a passion.

But for now, I’m just trying to enjoy the stroll.