I love journalism. I love reporting and attending events and being engaged in the activities and happenings in my community. I love telling people’s stories and taking pictures and tweeting and writing every day.

I enjoyed learning about a new place and its vibrant history in Miami. I loved sitting in tedious government meetings – watching the politics and side deals. I enjoyed being in a professional setting, with a good ethical editor and I learned quite a bit while I was there.

I love journalism.

But I also love puppies and HBO and eating Oreos in a bowl of milk. I love my family and going out with friends on the weekends and movies and my fraternity and family get-togethers. The point is, I love a lot of things and sometimes you have to weigh what is important to you.

I came to Miami, feeling pressured post-graduation to jump head first into my career no matter what it took. After an emotionally-trying last semester, I moved away from only the second place I had ever called home to a city I had never been to up until 2012. I knew no one, was 300 miles from a friendly face and was taking a job that would leave me basically broke.

Needless to say I was miserable. I hated my apartment, I hated being alone, I hated Miami traffic and I-95 and the lack of left turn arrows. I was only happy at work and the evenings dragged on miserably. Further conflicts in my personal life, lead to a decision – I couldn’t stay there as unhappy as I was.

The job offer from Miami Today had once been a beacon of hope, a ray of sunshine – while I was debating job offers in Texas and Arizona, my kind editor called to offer an interview for a job I had forgotten I had applied for. It became an obvious mistake to me and another decision I had made earlier this year, I realized was also a mistake.

I had applied to an AmeriCorps position in Apopka when I was job-hunting that spring. I was offered the position but I turned it down due to my job in Miami – but I changed my mind and decided instead to take a chance.

Taking the AmeriCorps position would allow me to move home to Orlando, to live with my parents and have some much needed family time, and would give me the support and stability I had been craving. I would also gain fascinating experience and a Segal Education Award to use toward my student loans at the end of my year contract.

After the year I had so far and how 2013 had treated me, I decided the AmeriCorps position was the best decision for me, was what I really wanted – and that is why I left Miami.

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