July 1, 2014 will mark one year since I left behind Long Island and found myself in Staunton, Virginia. The only place I ever visited in Staunton prior to packing up a few belongings and arriving for good was the very house we rented. We had never even spent the night in the town. We knew no one.
July 1, 2014 marks the end of the most tumultuous year of my life. My family and I left behind the only home we ever knew. We left behind family and friends and co-workers, many of whom we still can’t speak of without choking up, tears smarting our eyes. For many, many other personal reasons this year has been difficult in very profound, life-changing ways.
July 1, 2014 also marks the end of one of the most extraordinary years of my life. For with the lows, there are highs. This year is the first one I’ve spent home with my children since becoming a mother. While I’ve discovered that working from home is so much more difficult than I ever anticipated, I’ve also discovered how very much I’ve missed my boys. We’ve learned so much here about living more intentional lives, about making do with what is around us and available to us, about putting more care and thought into how we treat the earth and each other. All of this we can attribute to the amazing people here in Staunton who welcomed us, accepted us, and offered to us their friendship.
July 1, 2014 is the one year anniversary of my attempt to make a living doing what I love. I arrived in Staunton, Virginia pen in hand, ready to commit myself to writing, in one form or another, for a living. Along the way, over the past year, I grew brave enough to also take up photography as a serious pursuit rather than something I only listed as a hobby for so many years. I found the courage to seek out stories, and tell them. I want people to see and feel and taste and smell and hear along with me on my journey. When people ask me what I do for a living, I answer “I’m a writer and photographer.” I say it out loud. And lately, I’m saying it with more clarity, more confidence.
So it is only fitting then that July 1, 2014 will mark not just the end of our first year in Staunton, Virginia, not just the beginning of our second year here, but the launch of an exciting next step in my career. I deeply believe that if I’ve learned anything from our time here in Staunton, it is that I must always move ahead with bravery and sculpt my dreams into reality with my own two hands.
July 1, 2104, I am excited to launch my brand new webzine titled “Staunton Insider.” Found at www.stauntoninsider.com, Staunton Insider will be bringing you the stories of the people and businesses waiting to welcome you to Staunton, Virginia. Aimed at tourists and residents alike, Staunton Insider will feature articles and stories that bring to life the amazing goodness found in our town. Below are examples of upcoming features:
- People of Staunton – telling the unique stories of Staunton residents and/or business owners. Will include a special feature spotlighting notables buried in historic Thorn Rose Cemetery.
- Inside Staunton Businesses – presenting inside, in-depth features of what it is like to visit particular businesses.
- Living Well in Staunton – fun interviews with Staunton City employees to get inside tips (lifehacks!) and fun stories about the city of Staunton. Spotlights on local charities, how to get involved, and what profound experiences you can have volunteering.
Upcoming plans include a comprehensive calendar of events that will help visitors and residents alike find events, attractions, and businesses which offer activities and/or specials that appeal to their needs. I’ll also be working to expand coverage of local artists and musicians, both established and up and coming.
I hope you will join me on this exciting new venture! I can’t wait for you to find yourself as smitten with Staunton, Virginia as I am!
To stay updated about our launch and to hear about all the exciting features to come in our first issue, please follow these links:
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Head over to Staunton Insider and subscribe so you never miss a new article.
I will still be blogging here on Allison Road, sharing personal snippets and behind the scenes peeks at my work! Thank you for all of your support!