Thanks, Denver, for such a great first year!
It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we launched Denver Weekly.
Looking back through the editions we’ve put out this year got me thinking about growing up.
As a junior in high school, I attended the N.C. Governor’s School summer enrichment program.
I was to spend two months living on my own at Meredith College in Raleigh, three hours away from home.
I spent weeks planning. I picked out dorm room decorations, planned fun visits for family and friends, scouted out places to eat and figured out exactly how I might make it to the mall.
I knew it was going to be the most amazing summer of my life. I was determined to make it so.
But all my planning and fantasizing about living on my own overlooked one big question: Could I actually handle this?
When my mom drove away, leaving me standing outside my dorm, I was in tears. I was alone. I knew no one, and no amount of planning could have prepared me for that.
That’s what made the summer one of growth for me. I expected to learn about science and philosophy.
Instead, I made friends. I took salsa classes. I read books that challenged my beliefs and watched films that forced me to make connections where I could see none before.
It was the best summer I’d lived.
I definitely didn’t expect to grow up that summer. But I did.
I think that’s why the memory so readily came to mind when I looked back over this last year with Denver Weekly.
We came in with all these plans, with knowledge of journalism, government and business.
But what happened was so much more than journalism.
We’ve made friends in Denver. We’ve listened to people with brilliant ideas, helped spread cries for help and made connections.
Just in the last year, we’ve watched Denver grow.
The state Department of Transportation completed the new N.C. 16 though Lincoln County.
Economic leaders opened the Airlie Business Park.
Real estate agents are daring to advertise again.
With direct routes to Charlotte, two major interstates and two airports; a beautiful lake; and fantastic people, I know that Denver is heading for great things.
We’ve all got to start planning for what those great things might bring, but keep in mind that we can only plan so much. It’s taking advantage of what actually happens that will matter most.
I’m excited to be a part of it, watching and learning as Denver grows and growing alongside it.