By KRISSI HUMBARD —Most people reflect on their lives at the end of the year, just before the new year. But for me, spring always brings reflection. After a long winter, things start to come back to life and bloom — there is new energy, a rebirth, a reawakening.
As I’ve been reflecting on my life and my time, I’ve come to a difficult decision: It’s time to step down from my role as digital editor/social media manager for the Hyattsville Life & Times.
I struggled, for a long while, with giving up this position. This job has made me more invested in my community, more aware of the things that go on in Hyattsville. Even though I’ve lived here since 2009, I wasn’t very involved in the community until I started writing for the paper in 2016. Working for the paper has allowed me to dig deep into local issues and learn things I probably wouldn’t have learned otherwise, like the workings of city council, the nitty gritty of elections and campaign finance, the many steps to keep the city running. This position has helped me build relationships with small business owners, the HCPD chief and other police officers, the mayor and city staff. This has been an incredible opportunity, and stepping down is bittersweet.
If you know me — or if you’ve followed my writings here and here — you know how much I love Hyattsville. I am passionate about this community. I spread the gospel of Hyattsville to anyone and everyone who will listen. This place is my home, and I love living here.
I also love journalism, and have since my days working for my college newspaper (shoutout to The Alligator/University of Florida!). I’ve worked at a daily paper, a weekly paper and this monthly newspaper. Each newsroom I’ve worked in has been a community newsroom. I get a thrill from being on deadline with a breaking news story, staying up late on election night to cover the results or witnessing history being made in our city. I love telling the stories of local residents doing great things, like building businesses here, organizing toy drives for the less fortunate, or debuting their newest book or play. I get excited when I’m covering the artists and art events that color Hyattsville, whether its students showing off their work at the county art show or artists exhibiting at Pyramid Atlantic.
But I’ve never really been able to break away from the pace of the daily paper. And that has taken a toll. My passion drives me to spend way too many hours on a story to get it just right, to make sure I’m not missing something. My love of Hyattsville sends me chasing story after story, trying to cover it all. I honestly don’t know how to treat this as a part-time gig. Covering Hyattsville online and on social media — with all that is going on here! — is bigger than a one-woman job.
Additionally, life with two young boys has gotten busier as they’ve gotten older. I’m also over-involved in my Hyattsville community: I run the @OurHyattsville account on Instagram, help curate art exhibits at Studio SoHy, organize local music events like HyFest, help to promote local businesses on social media through the SoHy Collective, and plan events in the area. Like I said, I love Hyattsville. And now, I’m also starting a new business with my husband and another partner: Patent Brewing Company.
Life is very busy, to say the least. Something had to give.
This isn’t goodbye; I’ll still be in Hyattsville and involved with the community. You’ll see me at Summer Jams and art events, at Vigilante Coffee Company (the subject of my first story!) and probably at council meetings. And, when time allows, I will still write for this paper.
I feel incredibly grateful that we have a community newspaper, and that I’ve had the opportunity to share the stories I’ve written — and had a hand in — with our readers.
Thank you, Hyattsville. See you around.
The Hyattsville Life & Times is hiring!
Looking for a part-time position that makes a positive contribution to your community while engaging your love of writing, editing and social media? Send a resume, cover letter and writing samples to firstname.lastname@example.org