By Darren Lum
There’s a lot to unpack in about a 600 word editorial to say goodbye.
But after almost a year of these, it’s something I’ve been told I’m good at, so here goes.
Thank you. Two words, which on their own do little, but said with feeling and with heart they are weighted with value that satiates the soul. I’m not one for small talk and I believe my editorials have mirrored that. I want to believe gratitude is important and to express it to others is even more important. I didn’t always, but with my departure I want everyone to know my success and my efforts are owed to all of you.
Nothing I’ve done in journalism would have been possible without the connections I made. I appreciate the opportunities to share the many stories of the people that call the Highlands home. I will always remember how people let me in their homes, their lives and their hearts.
I heard somewhere that a journey is taken by yourself and an adventure is a trip you shared.
What an adventure it has been.
There has been the thousands of sporting events with all ages and levels of athletic abilities represented, whether it was children barely able to skate to athletes from around the world kayaking at the Minden Whitewater Preserve in the Pan Am Games. There has been the 100-year-old birthday stories. The first babies of the year. The regattas where eggs were tossed, and laughter was contagious. The fundraisers for every cause and need imaginable, which are only possible by the tireless and dedicated volunteers who bleed and sweat for this community. The inspirational stories of athletes, artists, business people and survivors, who reminded me what courage people can possess to endure tragedy.
I heard something through Instagram about how dreams never leave you, and you either live it out or are haunted by it. Your dreams, you either pursue them or they f-ing haunt you.
Being in my 40s, I don’t want anything haunting me.
I’m not young, but not old.
So, it’s on to a new chapter. We are all directors of our own life story and (while some have more privilege than others) we can take steps to be intentional with actions for growth and for joy.
It’s more than 20 years since I started in journalism and a lot has changed in the industry and in life – smart phones, wow. I can choose to accept these changes or do what I intend to do, which is strike a new path to a bright horizon where there is opportunity for growth and to take path to fulfill new dreams yet to be realized.
If anyone has ever received a message from me through my work email address, my signature at the bottom says: “Since life is short and the world is wide, the sooner you start exploring it, the better.”
It’s a quote from Simon Raven. I think it’s time to live out the signature.
Today is my last day. The last at the Times and the last (most likely) in journalism.
I’ve done all I can in journalism. My life has been fuelled by passion and I’m ready to take it to something new where I can feel the spark, which will burn and grow.
If you’re interested to see where my nose will take me, follow me at hello_haliburton on Instagram. If not, I’ll be in the Highlands still and at the end of the road or trail not typically taken, staring at the sky, inhaling life.
It’s been a trip and I appreciated all the moments. Take care, be kind to others, but, most importantly, be kind to yourself.