Las Vegas was supposed to be a pit stop for me, a layover between aspirations and realizations.
Ten years later, you could say plans got revised.
I was working my first journalism job as a general assignment reporter for the Uinta County Herald in Evanston, Wyo., when the wide open spaces got a little too wide open, the brown faces got a little too rare, the job got a little too Evanston, Wyo.
Dues had been paid and it was time to move on. Phoenix or Los Angeles, that’s where I’d go.
They say big plans are a fine way to make God laugh. They have the same effect on your father.
Instead, I moved in with him in his Las Vegas apartment — “temporarily.” Something in a bigger city would pan out soon enough.
But, a freelance gig turned into a job with the Las Vegas Senior Press and Business Press, which turned into another job at Where magazine, which turned into the fashion reporting job at the Las Vegas Review-Journal that turned into this column.
At the risk of sounding cheesy, it was meant to be.
Prior to living together, my father and I had a very “yessir” relationship. By the time I moved out of his place we shared a beautiful bond. That’s just one reason I know I was destined to live here.
I also met my husband in the R-J newsroom. He’s a reporter, a damn good one. Good enough to compete in one of the most lively news towns there is, Boston.
Long before he got there, though, he met an insecure fashion reporter. He read her work smiling the whole way through and trumpeted it to anyone who would listen.
My husband instilled something life-changing in me. He gave me professional confidence. When I sit in meeting rooms with editors, the doors closed behind us, my husband’s opinions of me come along. They’re now my opinions of me. He helped an insecure fashion reporter morph into an award-winning columnist.
I thought of those milestones with my dad, husband and career while wading through our pool for one of the last times before I move to Boston.
The water was just the right temperature of warm. The air stayed still. No wind sweeping dust into the water. Cocktails and Kanye completed the picture. Pooltime perfection.
As I swirled around, my sweet reflections briefly turned to fear. The unknown scares me, always has. But, 10 years ago it was just as daunting.
My mom gets me through times like this with one simple sound bite: “Go to your destiny.” Just as Vegas was part of that destiny, Boston is, too. What it will bring is yet to be determined, but I hope you will “read all about it.”
People keep asking what I’ll miss most about Las Vegas. That pool ranks pretty high on the list. So does playing softball year-round, savoring the serenity of Mount Charleston, the delicious drama of the Review-Journal newsroom and getting awestruck by a view of the Las Vegas Strip when I least expect it.
One thing I won’t miss? This column. It’s coming with me and staying right here with you.
The decision came easy, and I have you, the readers, to thank for it. X=Why is only 2 years old, but in that time you have sobbed into my voice mail — even pausing to blow your nose — you have sent me long emails detailing why a story touched you, you have shouted at me for holding opinions different from your own, you have sent me cards to let me know you forgive me for those differing opinions, you have penned me letters from prison, you have made requests — like dancers with a DJ — for follow-up pieces.
But the things you have said and done since hearing about the big Boston move brought me to tears at times. Tom Kinzie, Mary Stevens, Paul Grady, and all the guys who work the press at the Review-Journal deserve a special shout-out, but I’m thankful to all my readers.
Thank you for reading me, thank you for appreciating me, and thank you for giving me my first freelance gig.
So long, Las Vegas. But dear readers: I will see you in October, when X=Why resumes.