by Brendan Sample

Most of my New Year’s resolutions for 2020 are pretty straightforward: Step outside of my comfort zone more often, meet new people, travel more, etc. They’re resolutions that plenty of people take on every year and are also ones that I’ve attempted to accomplish in the past. The thing is, however, that these are things that, given my circumstances, I’d be looking to accomplish regardless of the time of year.

After three years as a staff writer with the Local, I will be moving to the Washington, D.C. area in January to start a new job as a copy editor for the Stars and Stripes newspaper. It’s certainly a huge step up for me on a number of levels, and it’ll naturally be coming with a lot of major life changes.

One of the many recurring thoughts I’ve had since I got the initial job offer is how this move has and will continue to put the notion of change in a different perspective for me. I’ve been living in Pennsylvania my entire life, with most of those 25 years spent in Bucks County. While I never specifically sought to completely relocate like this, the prospect of doing so has certainly changed my overall outlook on change to something more positive.

I’m very much guilty of having gotten too comfortable in my surroundings for quite some time, and this outlook has been especially evident in my general approach to New Year’s resolutions. Almost every year, I would scoff at the notion of committing to some major life change. Even if I wanted to do something drastic, I knew that, like so many others, I ultimately wouldn’t end up committing to anything long-term, so what was the point?

Now I’m in a situation where I really have no choice but to make some major changes. With no further context, I definitely would’ve hated that fact if I had known about it well beforehand. And yet, despite my previous aversion to change, I’m incredibly excited for this next chapter of my life.

It’s not like I’m going to become an entirely different person in D.C., but it’s also taken a major shake-up like this to make me realize how beneficial certain changes could be. When you get stuck in a shell for a long time, sometimes you need a major challenge to your status quo to make you realize what other aspects of your life need improving. I’m hardly saying that this new job and new home will suddenly fix all of my problems, but I’m legitimately hopeful that this will lead to me being able to make certain resolutions that have been a long time coming.

Of course, any major life change often involves leaving something behind, and it’s not just the Local in this case, but, sadly, all of Chestnut Hill. While I’ve never lived in Northwest Philly, I’ve become very much acclimated to the area in the past few years, and I’ve come to love a lot about it. Between the great local shops, the beautiful architecture and all the wonderful people I’ve had the privilege of getting to know, there’s no place quite like the Hill and I’m definitely going to miss it.

More than anything, though, I will be missing the amazing team behind the Chestnut Hill Local. This was both my first full-time job out of college and my first foray into professional journalism, and I will always be grateful to the Local for providing me with that invaluable experience. I’ve learned so much about this profession that I hope to stay in for the rest of my life, and regardless of where I may go from here, the Local will always have a special place in my heart.