“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, and what it means.” - Joan Didion, "Why I Write"
Over my two years writing for the Echo, I’ve written under the features and opinion sections. For almost fifty weeks, I’ve covered topics such as the installation of the Ed Johnson memorial, the re-emergence of the U.S. labor movement, and the many impacts of the internet on our culture.
When skimming back through some of the pieces I wrote during this time, some read as if they were written by someone else entirely. They seem unfamiliar to me, so out of rhythm with the way I think now. It’s odd to revisit these pieces – it almost feels like I’m speaking with a stranger.
Each story captures such a highly specific version of myself as a writer and thinker that reading multiple pieces in one sitting is like a little reunion. I’m sure that after enough time passes, I’ll feel the same way about this piece, too.
I’m not sure where I’ll be in the upcoming years: mentally, physically, emotionally. I will know where I’ve been, though. I have the tether of the Echo to remind me of the many different people I've embodied over the past two years, captured in the stories of this newspaper.
I graduate from college in a little over one week from now. This is the last story I’ll be publishing, but I plan to keep writing. My work with the Echo has been the most reliable way of getting to know myself through college, consistently coming around the corner to inquire what I think every week and why I think it.
I’ll keep answering on my own, meeting myself over and over again.