Making changes for the new year

Published 5:21 pm Thursday, January 18, 2018

If only it was so simple to keep those new year’s resolutions.
Those first couple of weeks of a new year are always fun, aren’t they? Having to scribble out that seven and put a loop through it to make it an eight when writing a check, the arctic chill Mother Nature tends to bring to the region, having to start over with the new calendar that actually isn’t digital.
I know right? Some of us are still cavemen and women and don’t use strictly online calendars.
But the start of a new year also breeds dreams, hopes and aspirations. There is so much potential in this community to thrive for the coming year, and the true impact of what can be accomplished lies simply with you, the community.
One of the more eye-opening experiences I had last year was keeping up to date with members of the Elizabethton IDEAS Group. A handful of residents who said, “You know what? Let’s get things accomplished” and, shocker, they were able to make some headway.
Having a collective effort and putting boots on the ground for a goal can achieve so much more success than senseless online banter. I’ve seen instances on social media complain about a subject, have the opportunity to attend a public meeting to voice concern, and the seating is almost as empty as a church on a Monday.
Whether you like it or not, the public officials within the city and county deserve a tip of the cap. These are the men and women who are ushering in the change to help benefit the region. It isn’t Facebook or Twitter that decides what happens in the community, it’s interaction with the public that moves stones.
Looking forward, that is my guinea hope for Elizabethton and Carter County. There are so many things to look forward to, but there are also so many ideas brewing in the community that are hidden under the dirt. I would encourage the public to become more involved with different public meetings and make your voices heard, not seen to a limited population online.
Making changes are always difficult, and I learned that the hard way this past year.
I looked back at my trip during the Frostbite at Watauga Lake in 2017 and to say I was a hoss was an understatement. I clocked in near 300 pounds, (286 pounds), so I decided to take the initiative to drop the weight over the course of the year. Thankfully I made it down to 186, so I don’t have to worry about huffing and puffing up a couple of stairs now.
Same goes with lifestyle changes. I’ve been in the journalism profession since 2010. Personal issues arose, which will be saved for a later time, that I took time off school to focus solely on this profession.
Instead of just sticking with the status quo and riding the wave, I decided my education is important and I’m proud to say I’m one of the “Reconnecters” in Tennessee at the age of 26.
It doesn’t matter how many press awards someone wins. Staying in a rut won’t do any justice of supporting a future family.
With the Elizabethton Star, I’ve looked to bring something different. Since I arrived, I’ve tried to help break the coverage into a different direction and include as many voices as I can. Through thick and thin, this publication is the voice of the community and I want to make sure we can be that channel to showcase these stories to the public.
For 2018, my personal goal is to keep sharing the stories of the community and see that grow for my duration here. My phone and email are always open channels and I encourage anyone wanting to share that unique story to give a shout.
(Curtis Carden is an award-winning news and sports journalist/photographer with the Elizabethton Star. To contact Curtis, email or call (423) 297-9057)

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