Starting year with new hopes

By Laura Briggs

So we start another year all over again.

Heading into 2018 I must say my expectations for the new year were below average.

While people were starting out their year with new year’s resolutions and that fresh-beginnings-feeling, I had quite the opposite approach.

Having started off the year with much of my life up in the air, I was completely unsure of what my year might look like and my hopes were anything but high.

I had no job due to a back injury from April, 2017, I was down in the dumps about life after plans of moving away had caved in. I was in constant pain and I was anxiously awaiting major hip surgery for which I had not had a date confirmed.

As a deep thinker I was losing sleep, I was stressing and I was uncomfortable with the uncertainty of my future.

I had allowed all this to get to me and I had reached the point of being self-absorbed.

Long story short, I underwent major hip surgery on January 25. I spent early weeks getting around in a wheelchair before upgrading to crutches for the following months.

It was an experience I had dreaded for six months and had suddenly hit a moment of relief ... It was all over — no more hospital beds, no more heavy head-spinner drugs, no more toilet seat frames in the shower, no more relying on my mum to put my pants on ... The worst was gone and things were looking up.

From there I began applying for jobs.

With a wide range of interests I applied for a variety of roles from real estate and administration to teacher’s aide and gardening positions.

To my disappointment I was unsuccessful, mainly due to lack of experience.

Coming out of sports retail, I did not have qualifications behind me and I knew I was no competition to those who had studied in particular areas.

Expecting a similar situation when I applied for a cadet journalist position at the Shepparton News, I was extremely shocked to be offered the job.

Having written no more than a short essay back in high school, I began a three-year cadetship on May 14 last year with excitement, but at the same time I was also hoping I had made the right decision in taking the job when I was unsure of what exactly it entailed.

Eight months down the track, as we begin another new year, I have got to thinking over the last year just how much has changed.

From the stressed-out, pain-enduring, pessimistic person who started out the year with low expectations, 2018 turned out to be a life-changer.

I cannot say how grateful I am ...

To the Shepparton News — For believing in me and offering me the chance to begin a career that I was far from qualified to take on. While I was sinking lower into disappointment with each job that had turned me down, my role here at The News has made it clear to me why those other jobs never worked out.

My cadetship has allowed me to find my fit — it has challenged me, expanded me and it has provided me with a job that I love to come to each day.

I am thankful to my hip surgeon Jit Balakumar — For offering his expertise and time with 100 per cent kindness and care to perform a life-changing surgery and caring for me as an individual rather than just another patient.

And to my family and friends — For supporting, encouraging and loving me through the thick and the thin of 2018; The ones who pulled me through and cheered me on every step of the way.

As we see 2018 off and begin 2019, I express my gratitude for these people who helped me to find my way and I look ahead to what the new year will bring.

This year I choose to continue surrounding myself with the people who mean the most to me. I choose to work hard to develop into the best journalist I can be.

I choose to support and cheer others on just as I have been cheered on and I choose to make the most of every opportunity that comes my way.

2019 will be what we make it ... I would say stay positive, be grateful, work hard and have fun.

Laura Briggs is a News journalist.