Sunday Scribblings: Quitting

The writing prompt over at Sunday Scribblings is “Quitting:” Have you ever quit something? A job, a sport, a school play, a relationship? How did it feel? Were you guilty? Flooded with relief and a powerful feeling of freedom? Do you maybe quit things too easily? Or do you never quit, even when you should? What does it mean to be a "quitter"?

No fiction today, just reality.
Interestingly enough, I resigned from my job on Friday. I will no longer – well, after June 6 – be working for a newspaper in Northern California.
And in a few short weeks, I’ll pack up everything I own and my dogs – Trinity and Scully – and travel 1,700 miles east to South Dakota. A new city. A new newspaper.
This is not a joke; people look, laugh and say, “Yeah, right.”
I say I’m off; then they ask, “Aren’t you scared?”
Not in the least.
This was meant to happen; a logical progression in my life and in my career. A chance to continue to evolve.
Sure, I hang a heavy head when I think of the life I’ve created for myself in Cali. The friends and loved ones who support and nurture me. But my friends will always be my friends.
And my new town is within a four-hour drive of all my family.
It was time.
I could no longer write for my current paper. It had lost all of its charm, its beauty. There is a difference in philosophy on how best to cover the news, how best to serve the readers. My philosophy differs.
And we part ways.
I’m going to a larger newspaper to cover environmental/outdoor issues. More news, a little less features. They want me to nurture their younger reporters as a writing coach (something I’ve always wanted to do).
Biggest thing is, they want me in their newsroom. They are excited for what I bring.
Respect from your superiors goes a long way.
Still, I feel for the community I am leaving. I’ve tried to serve them to the best of my ability for 11 years. I feel like I am letting them down.
And then I think about what we’ve done across 11 years. Not just the awards, but the comments from people at gas pumps and grocery stores, restaurants and beer joints. People thanking me for writing – something I need to do, just like breathing.
I love this community; I love the area. But I just couldn’t continue at the newspaper (and the one other lead didn’t pan out – lack of vision – but that’s OK too, since things happen for a reason).
And that maybe fate has a hand in things.
To return to the Midwest, my roots, to do what I do best.


The Queen said...

Sunday Haiku For Thom

Know I'll miss you, but
This move is just widening
Your circle of friends

Erin said...

Congratulations and very best wishes to you -- sounds like a good, wise move. Those young reporters you'll be mentoring are a lucky bunch. Enjoy.

Anonymous said...

It’s sad to witness the exodus of talent from a formerly fine newspaper. We’ve never met, but I’ve enjoyed your columns over the years and wish you the very best in South Dakota.

rebecca said...

good luck to is always best to follow one's does wonders for your spirit!

A & W + d + f said...

Wow! We are going to miss you! Sounds like a wise move. SD is lucky to have you. Best wishes!

Granny Smith said...

As a northern Californian, I hate to see you go. I have been saddened by the gradual erosion of once fine newspapers. I will be watching your blog with interest as you enter a new situation.

Do your best for the environment!

Uncle E said...

Best of luck to you, TG.
Two "Leavin' Cali" mixed cd's comin' yer way Tuesday...can you guess the theme?

candace said...

Thom, you will be missed. You left your imprint on this community, and nothing can take that away. Kudos to you for having the courage to leap and relocate. We have no doubt you'll continue to land on your feet and do great things.

Brenda said...

I've been following you through your blog for, hmmm, probably a month now. Hope you'll keep writing through and after this job transition.

From time to time, we can and do become out of sync with the jobs we're in and, like you said, when a position has "lost all of its charm, its beauty" that's our sign that it is time to move on.

I look forward to hearing more from you as you navigate this change!

Schteve said...

Good luck T. You'll be missed!

katy C said...

Good Luck Thom. Change is good even when it is difficult. A new life awaits you - enjoy the adventure.

Mark Twitchell said...

Hey Thom,
Sad to hear about your leaving, but it's going to be up & onward for you. Well, if you ever get back this way, give me an e-mail & we'll get on the Clear Creek Need Camp run.

Mark Twitchell

chris n said...

Congrats! You are not a quitter when you go after something you believe will be better.
My great adventure started just under a year ago and will be realized within the next month. We're off to Kansas, Toto! Not too far away from S.D. Maybe there could be a goose or duck hunt on tap?
Keep in touch. Enjoy your great adventure.
Without adventure, really, there is no joy to life.

JFarm said...

Good for you Thom. I wish you the best. Speaking from experience, change is good. It keeps you fresh and your case, creative.
Good luck.

missalister said...

Oh man I’m fresh off/on a bumpy life transition (of course I had to spill a few of my guts about it on my site). You “sound” surer of your new destination that I was of mine, though. May the Inspirational Force continue to be with you! :-)

Anonymous said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again... gonna miss you you sombishhhh! Seriously, good luck out there on the frozen tundra.

svojoh said...

Had to be a hard decision. I'm giving you a good luck hug now, feel it? Lucky you, you'll only be 4 hours away from me. HA We'll still never see each other will we? Look me up when you see your family.

Your old pal, J

ambercita said...

Good for you and best of luck in South Dakota!

Anonymous said...

Thom, I know you are in tune with the elements and you have been keenly aware of the Great Cosmic Shift occuring all around you. This move will provide you with bountiful blessings, I'm sure.

I am, and shall remain, a dedicated follower of your work and look forward to your renewed spirit making its' presence felt on the printed (or digital) page.

P.S. - Do you think they could use a cartoonist? Hey, just wonderin'.

Anonymous said...

I am wishing you the best of luck and that you find true happiness (or it finds you).
Sorry about the "anonymous" I know its lame. Please don't punch me if you find me!

lucy said...

"I could no longer write for my current paper. It had lost all of its charm, its beauty. There is a difference in philosophy on how best to cover the news, how best to serve the readers. My philosophy differs.
And we part ways."

Perhaps it's our age, Thom. I was born in 63', too. One night,I woke up,restless, sat up, and said out loud "I'm not living this way anymore".

It's been a little over a year since I made my decision, one road very much filled with boulders and large potholes, but I can honestly say, despite my tremendous fears, anxiety, depression and rough traveling, I'm happier right now than I ever have been in a very long time.

We're all confronted with hard choices--some of us have the courage to take the road less traveled. I think in the end, those that do are better for it.

Good luck.

ThomG said...

Thank you al lfor the kind words, words of wisdom. It feels right, this move, upheaval. New beginnings, new adventure. I tingle with anticipation.


jimdyar said...


You've owned that beat like no one before (and I was one of the befores). We're going to miss you. Way to go out and grab something else. I guess we'll all learning about South Dakota as long as the Tension lives on.

Best of luck, mate.

Michelle said...


Best of luck to you in SD! The RS and north state will certainly miss your fantastic work. But I see bigger and better things for you!

A former co-worker,
Michelle T.

Anonymous said...

If I bought your book,
What would your autograph be?
Would it be Guido?