An unexpected love

Published 8:12 pm Friday, December 1, 2017


I’d never heard of Washington, North Carolina.

That is, until I clicked on a job posting for this small town on the Pamlico. Two and a half years later, it’s a place I’ve come to know and love.

Having grown up in Greensboro, I couldn’t believe the way people seemed to really take an interest in me. “Where are you from?” “Do you like it here?” “How’s the new job treating you?” “Are you dating anyone?”

It wasn’t long before I realized almost every person I met remembered my name and that I was the new reporter at the Daily News. Coming from a large sea of people at UNC-Chapel Hill, that was unexpected to me, as well. I learned as a freshman in college to not be offended if someone didn’t remember my name. Imagine my surprise when people in Washington actually did.

I’ve told many people I may live in Greenville, but it’s Washington where I spend the majority of my time. I can honestly say I still know my way around Beaufort County better than I do the Greenville area. Occupational hazard, I suppose.

I decided early on to refer to this town as the Original Little Washington — recognizing the incredible history, while also acknowledging my newness to the fabric of life here. That’s what Washington has been for me. Not to mention it’s a surefire way to dot my i’s, cross my t’s and keep everybody happy. (A good move for this out-of-towner.)

More important than what to call this town, though, is the word it brings to mind as I’m writing this column. Grateful. Undeniably and unequivocally grateful. That’s how I feel looking back on my experience in the Original Little Washington.

I believe I was meant to find Washington, and I can’t think of a better place to start my career. The people here may prefer the quiet. They may be partial to lighter traffic. But they are by no means simple.

I’ve met some incredible people during my adventures here — characters who won’t be found again in all the world. The people here are innovators, caring innovators who haven’t forgotten the value of family. They have more good traits than bad. They helped me make a home here. For that, I am grateful.

I can picture my editor, Vail, reading this and a smile spreading across her face because of how corny this is. She’s right. This is corny. Here’s the thing, though: I mean every word.

Who knew I would stumble across Washington, North Carolina? Who knew I’d start my first job here? I certainly didn’t. Although unexpected, these past two and a half years were a blessing, and one I’d never want to change.

Thank you, Beaufort County, for reading my work, for challenging me, for befriending me. It was truly an honor and a privilege to be a part of this wonderful place. It’s an honor I’ll carry with me always.