Now it's time to say goodbye ...

I spent so many years of my life bitter with my parents for moving to this area in the late 80s from Queens. I remember my sisters getting to stay behind because they were older, and in an instant, I became an only child. I was in the middle of nowhere with no friends and no siblings to play with, and even though I made friends and ended up doing well in Norwich, I will still determined to leave. And I did.

Then I came back.

So here I am, after two and a half years of being back, and I’m realizing that it’s not as bad as I thought it was.

I realized in life that in order to move forward, sometimes you have to take a step back.

I spent three years in Scranton, Pa. pursing my bachelor’s degree and taking some time trying to find myself. The last thing I wanted was to finish college and come home, so I continued waitressing and bartending so that I could try to avoid growing up. After a year, I realized I had to move on, and went straight to the big show. New York City.

When things didn’t work out there, I knew my only option was to come home. And although it devastated me at the time, now I realize it was the best thing I could ever have done.

I got this job, for one, which was one of the greatest opportunities I have ever been granted. It has led me to so many things and into the lives of so many people that I would never have met before.

My first week on the job, August of ‘04, Jeff sent me to meet Elizabeth Monaco at the Chenango United Way, because I would be working very closely with her in my beat. From that first time we met, we clicked, and she’s become a Godsend to me. She’s led me to meet other people who have made a difference in my life, and they have led me to meet other people.

Garf’s Deli became my new hangout - so much that I became friends with just about everyone who works there. My picture online with Caroline says it all.

I traveled around the county while covering The Gazette, and found New York Pizzeria in New Berlin, (although Dennis had something to do with that too) and I met Ronnie Wadsworth and Wilma Gorrell at UV Schools. I got to work behind the scenes at the Blues Fest for two years in a row, where I experienced some of the best music around, and had the opportunity to interview nationally known band members who literally blew me away.

The staff, faculty, and administration at the Norwich City School District have also been amazing to me. Some of them have seen me grow up from being a hyper child who could never shut up (Mr. Abbott) to a grown adult with a job she loves and still can’t shut up. They helped me through the first years of my career, and did whatever they could to help see one of their own succeed.

So many people in this community helped me to get where I am today. People who already knew me and wanted to help, those who didn’t and still wanted to help, and even those who wanted nothing to do with me because I’m a reporter and they don’t speak to the media. You all helped me to grow and to get to where I am in my career, and I am so greatly appreciative of everything you have done for me. I never thought I’d say it will be hard for me to leave Norwich, but this time, as much as I am glad to be going to Boston, (and no I will NOT become a Red Sox fan) I will truly have to say I just might cry (I said might). And I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone in this community for being so wonderful to me.

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