Thankful for Selma and all it has offered

Published 10:34 pm Friday, November 23, 2012

As the lit Christmas wreaths, empty store shelves, and brisk winter weather signal the holiday season, I can’t help but feel immense gratitude and thankfulness.

This time last year, I was a lost college student still trying to figure out where I would go after graduation and how I would find my place and purpose in the big, scary “real world.”

Now, I find myself with a rewarding career surrounded by a community that has welcomed me with open arms.

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At first, I wasn’t sure what I would find in Selma, a place where I knew not a soul. Would I be able to handle my new job? Could I thrive without my family close by? Would I make friends? These were just some of the worries that seemed to constantly swirl through my mind.

Well, almost four months later, I have found myself to be happier than I could have ever imagined in my new home. Every county commission meeting, ribbon cutting, school event — and yes, even the city and national election — have been a joy and blessing to cover.

Each time I venture out of the office, notepad and camera in tow, I learn something new about this wonderful place we call the butterfly capital.

Since moving here, I’ve met someone who wakes up at 5:30 a.m. to teach yoga at the YMCA, a man whose family has harvested cotton in Dallas County since early statehood and people who have first-hand recollections of the turbulent times of the civil rights movement.

These are people you won’t find shadowed in the hustle and bustle of a big city. These are people you find in a small town like Selma, and I feel so privileged to be the one who gets to tell their great stories.

Selma, as a city, also has a lot to be thankful for this season. Along with having a set of hard working leaders determined to make Selma a better, safer palce, we also have had several new businesses move to the area, generating more tax dollars for our community. The Vineyard Italian restaurant, Allez-oup boutique, Sweet Advantages ice cream shop and the Selma Walton Theater are just a few new venues to be thankful for this holiday season.

So, while I’m thankful for my family, friends, freedom and health, I am also thankful for Selma and everything it has provided me in the short amount of time I’ve been here. Although I never imagined my path would lead me here, I’m thankful that it did. So thank you, Selma.