The first time I walked through the doors of Times-Journal, I knew I was home.

I don’t think people always believe me when I tell them how much I love my job. This place is my second home, and the people here are my family. I absolutely love everything about the Times-Journal, from the location of the office to the Southern Newspapers Incorporation that owns us. When I’m at work, I am at total peace with myself and everything happening around me.

Tricia creates such a positive work environment that it’s hard to be anything but happy when you’re around her and her staff here at the office. I always jokingly tell the other employees that I love my weekends, but by Sunday, I am ready to be back in the office so that I can throw myself into my work and see everyone. I genuinely love the people here and I miss them when I’m away from them. How many people do you know who can say that about their job or their coworkers? Trust me when I say that it’s a blessing.

Recently, the Times-Journal blessed me again. Thursday morning, my dachshund, Murphy, got ran over. I heard the truck hit him and immediately knew that I had left the gate to his pin open. As I was running to the road, I was blaming myself, screaming, crying, and honestly, hoping a truck would hit me too. I lost a fur baby nearly five years ago and slipped into a deep depression because of it.

Last Thursday, I felt that same depression creeping up on me as I scooped Murphy up off the road. I held him and cried until I was finally able to put him to rest. I dug his grave and buried him behind my parent’s house. I laid him to rest among the other animals we have loved and lost before, and knew that I couldn’t dwell on what had just happened.

In the meantime, my mom had called Tricia to tell her what had happened. Tricia told me not to come into work that day and to just stay at home and rest, but I simply couldn’t do that. I got up, dusted myself off, showered the blood, mud and tears off of me, and got ready for work. In the middle of all of that heartache, all I wanted to do was come into work and do my job. I wanted to operate that day just like I would any other normal day. I wanted to be here, with my friends, and in this positive environment. I wanted to talk to Tricia, because I knew she would make me feel better.

I wanted Emily, Hannah and Edy to ask me for help because I knew that would distract me and keep me busy. I wanted to answer my phone when it would ring so that I could be of help, or do something nice for someone else. I wanted to be here at the Times-Journal because I’m confident in myself when I am here. I am at peace when I am here, and in the midst of having just lost and laid my favorite dog to rest, I knew that the happiest place I could be was at work. How many people can honestly say that?

I knew that I couldn’t let my depression keep me down, and I knew that being at work was a positive distraction for me and that doing my job was a healthy way for me to cope with everything, so that’s what I did. I came to work because that was the one thing I knew would make me feel better.

So, this last week was a tough one for me, but, again, Tricia and the rest of the staff were understanding. They were encouraging and strong for me when I needed them to be. Tricia even let me bring Layla, my other dachshund, to work with me because she knew how anxious I was feeling about leaving her unattended after just losing Murphy.

This place, along with my church has been my refuge, and I can’t stress enough how thankful I am for the Times-Journal, its employees, its readers, and the fact that it’s home to me. No matter how many times I walk through the doors here, I know I’m home.

Kayla Beaty is the managing editor of the Times-Journal. She can be reached at kbeaty@times-journal.com.

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