Here we are on the verge of not only a new year but a new decade. The new year is a time for all to reflect on the previous year and plan for the new year that is upon us. New Year’s is also a time for resolutions, new beginnings and change.
Honestly, I am not a fan of looking back on 2019 — I was extremely sick or in insane pain (still am) for about 90% of the year. The blessing of 2019 is I have the greatest support system in the history of the known universe. I have no idea how I would have made it through the year without my friends and family.
New beginnings are a great thing in life, they come with adventures and discovery. However, new beginnings do have their downsides. As Semi Sonic said in a song, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” With that being said, it is probably a good time for me to mention this is my last column in the Sedalia Democrat. I actually moved from Sedalia in October.
The first thing people ask when they find out I moved is “WHY?!” usually followed with “You were so involved in Sedalia.” There are a lot of reasons why I decided to move, some of which are pretty personal. And I needed a change and I don’t think I realized how badly I needed a change until I was in Columbia. I lived in Sedalia for most of my life, and it was time for me to move and be a small fish in a big pond. Instead of working in media, I am now working for a media monitoring firm called NewzGroup doing marketing. So, I transitioned from creating content with the Sedalia Democrat to monitoring it.
NewzGroup monitors almost every kind of media for clients, including social media. It is extremely important for businesses, politicians, etc. to keep track of what people are saying about them, especially in an environment where anyone can say anything about anyone on the internet. It is mindblowing how the internet has transformed not only journalism but communication.
For example, since Dec. 1, “Sedalia Missouri” has been mentioned by 65 separate publications in online and broadcast stories from around the world. Publications in Canada, Australia and so much more have written about our town, our businesses, the State Fair and more. The internet makes communication fast, easy and accessible for all.
Sedalia is not new to the idea of how the internet has changed things. It seems like Sedalia-centric Facebook groups have turned into cesspools of negativity, complaints and the peddling of conspiracies. This kind of behavior from a vocal few does no good for the community. In fact, it can divide people and drive them away. People can be driven into indifference, where they give up trying to make Sedalia a better place due to the constant negativity or people can be literally driven away to different locations.
I urge the movers and shakers of Sedalia to keep working to make Sedalia a better place. You are making great strides in creating a community that is viable, fun and works for all citizens. I also urge the perineal armchair critics of Facebook to step away from the computer and get out there, pitch in and become informed. All Sedalia City Council meetings, Park Board meetings, hospital board meetings, etc. are open for public attendance. These meetings contain a wealth of information and ways that you can help the community and make your voice heard in a productive way.
I would like to thank everyone who said nice things about my column. I will miss forcing my opinions and thoughts on the readers of the Sedalia Democrat each week. I would also like to thank the people who did not always agree with me but were still respectful. Life is way too short not to be civil to one another.
There are a lot of things I miss about Sedalia: my friends, my parents, Ozark Coffee, and of course, my boyfriend. Cellphones make communication easy but there is no technology to text me a delicious latte. I will also miss getting to do awesome newspaper stuff like writing about the State Fair. I have always been a big fan of the fair and it brought me a lot of joy to share my fair thoughts with everyone (also the media pass was a nice perk). And most of all, thank you to my friend, Nicole Cooke, for giving me this opportunity to express myself every week.
In closing, I wish everyone a wonderful 2020 and beyond. I hope 2020 brings you positivity, jetpacks and great experiences. As author Michelle McNamara said, “It’s Chaos, Be Kind.” We only live once, so make it count and be nice to each other. Also, tax billionaires.