2018-04-12 / Viewpoint

The VIEW from here

It’s been a pleasure


Sam Tunningley — Staff writer Sam Tunningley — Staff writer This is my last full week reporting the news, so I’ve been thinking back to my earliest days and how far along I’ve come. I’ve been with this paper since its inception around two-and-a-half years ago as a fulltime staff reporter.

Upon graduating college, I was so nervous to enter the industry I took a grocery store position as an act of avoidance. The thought of starting my career and all it entails – interviewing people (which I somehow got away with hardly ever doing in college) and having my writing read on a large scale, especially – made me reconsider several times over.

To say the least, this job brought me out of my shell. I never thought I’d grow to love interviewing, but it’s now my favorite part of reporting. Over the past few years I’ve had so many neat opportunities I’ll always remember and remain grateful for. From media tours, to covering hometown events and meeting some of the kindest people out in Flushing.

Flushing and Flushing Township are special places to me now, and municipalities I had only passed through prior to working here. I grew up in Linden; a city quite similar, with a tight-knit and welcoming community. I remember the warmth I received from everyone when I started, and it was a refreshing feeling realizing I would be able to do start my career in a place that already felt like home.

I had always wanted to be a writer; now I can say I did it professionally. I feel incredibly fortunate for that.

Two weeks ago, I was offered and accepted a position in

Grand Rapids outside of my field. I need to change course for a while, consider all my options, and make a fresh start. But even if I never find – or choose to have – a position in media again, I will always write.

The picture attached to this column is my staff photo taken right after I received the job. I thought about the day it was taken – my editor said he wasn’t sure I’d be smiling that big after my first few months on the job. Well, despite the mistakes I’ve made and stress and frustration I’ve felt over the years, I’m smiling wide today.

I want to thank everyone in this community for being so receptive to my writing and this paper.

Now I’m moving to a city I love surrounded by some of my closest friends. I don’t know what’s in store for me, but I have an overwhelming feeling this is exactly what I need to do. Here’s to life, shaking things up and patience paying off.

Sam Tunningley is a staff writer for View Newspapers. He can be reached at stunningley@mihomepaper.com.

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