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Opinion: It’s been good, Squamish

'You may still see me here and there, but my full-time role at the paper will be over at the end of this month.'

For the last six years, working at The Squamish Chief has brought me memories that I’ll never forget.

Regular meetings at municipal hall. Massive wildfires. Search and rescue calls. Two gondola falls. Several elections. Stepping into a courtroom for the first time. Queuing up to ask Dr. Bonnie Henry a question.

There were things with less gravitas too.

I remember election night pizza, and that one time a stranger paid for my groceries.

I remember my first year, we decided to do fitness features for our lifestyle section, and I was assigned to write the newbie rock climber story. Look at this guy! He’s never touched rock before! He’s unathletic! Laugh at him!

I chuckle now, recalling how I would look up at the Stawamus Chief, thinking it was little more than a deathwish to climb it.

Well, something about the fitness feature did the job. A few years later, I returned as a trad climber and managed to do what I previously thought unthinkable.

I’ll never forget sitting in The 55 Activity Centre just after covering my first municipal election and watching the elected officials at the time pass the torch to the incoming council.

Well, now it’s time for me to pass the torch.

For the last while, various health conditions have made it harder and harder for me to keep up with the demands of the job.

As a result, I’m choosing to step down before the warning lights on the dashboard become more than just a warning.

It’s funny, because sometimes it feels like the world works in opposites.

When I first arrived, I couldn’t imagine staying here more than two or three years. Driven by ambition, I was eager to pay my dues and move on to a more “important” place and a more “serious” job.

But the more I got to know Squamish, the more I liked it. This wasn’t Ottawa, or D.C. or New York, or any of the centres of power or cultural influence I’d imagined myself winding up in.

Squamish isn’t a place for people with big ambitions for power or prestige. It’s a place where they try to get off work early so they can sneak in a lap up the Apron and crack a beverage at Broadway Ledge as they watch the sunset.

It changed the way I viewed success.

But alas, the universe is funny. Now that I want to stay, it’s telling me I need to go.

You may still see me here and there, but my full-time role at the paper will be over at the end of this month.

It’s been a real privilege.

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