opinion teaser

opinion teaser

COLUMN: Looking through the glass

As the sun sets on 2021, I glanced up from my keyboard and was shocked to find the dawning of 2022 just days away. I shook my head as if to clear a fog from my brain and second-guessed myself wondering where the hours of the previous year melted to?

Being so myopically focused on my fingers making each keystroke and correcting typographical errors, I realized I had not once seen the sun set on any given evening, or it rise on a crisp clear morning. In that moment of realization, it became clear. I had been walking around in a news reporting, constantly spinning kaleidoscope of ever-changing stories, but not appreciating the beauty and colours the glass shapes spun.

As I hit the final punctuation mark on the year in my life, I breathed out. One of those long, deep, letting go type of sighs that as it leaves your chest it takes with it all of the weight your shoulders have been carrying for the past however long. As my lungs released, my eyes caught sight of a framed picture on my office wall. One which my late husband had bought for me in a moment of his enduring encouragement of my pursuits.

My eyes had become blind to my own personal surroundings trying and trying again to bring everyone around me timely reports of local happenings. In that split second my vision focused on a new, but old sightline. The larger picture that I had painted for myself at the beginning of 2021, (not the vignette in which I had been living) became once again clear.

As I inhaled a fresh breath, the words on my office wall hit my bloodstream like a sugar rush of energy drink blazing to my heart. “She believed she could – So she did.” I could feel my husband’s breath on my cheek and hear his voice whisper over my shoulder, “And you DID, Kimmi. You certainly did.”

There have been many changes in my life in the past two years, some I have embraced and others have been forced upon me to accept. I lost my husband, I started a new job, I moved house, COVID-19 hit.

COVID for me, in ways not understood by some, has been a blessing. It quieted the noise in my life and allowed me to grieve behind a masked face and a closed door. But, with it came changes at work and new challenges. I became the only journalist at the paper for nigh on two years. Under much duress kicking and screaming, I was forced to learn new video skills, which I thought was beyond any hope of instilling in my skillset. However, like whiskers on kittens, it became one of my favourite things. I learned how to tweet, how to edit other people’s work. I learned new computer programs.

He had always told me I could, so I trusted that. I believed and I did.

We have all seen accomplishments and grief in 2021. It wasn’t much different from 2020. While COVID kept us apart, it still brought our community together. We shared the loss of our elders in Acropolis Manor, we shared the realization and pain of the loss of residential school children. But, we also came together in celebration in at the mass community vaccination clinic. We became an example for the province. We believed we could, so we did.

This year, at The Northern View we quietly said goodbye to our long-time publisher. With that came new responsibilities for those left behind. New tasks to learn, new tasks to accomplish, new goals to reach and new efforts to be celebrated, all the time standing in the midst of my community, with neighbours experiencing their own learnings and growth.

I’m not one for setting new year’s resolutions. I think if you are going to set a goal, then set it and do it. It’s a promise to yourself. It doesn’t matter if it’s January or June. I’m also not one to use the word failure. It’s the not to be used “F” word to me. If I can’t climb over the tree, I will go around it. Failure is not happening, but learning lessons from things that didn’t go according to plan are a pathway forward. What is failure to some is momentum forward for me.

So, as we look through the glass to 2022 and reflect on 2021, I am sure we will all see more challenges, more goals, more momentum forward. I promise to myself to keep my lens focussed on the words on my wall. “She believed she could – so she did.” And I promise I will.

So can you in 2022.

KJ Millar is a journalist with the Northern View in Prince Rupert.

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