Every once in a while, I’ll Google my own name.
Until I blasted my name all over social media networks, my results were populated by bylines from the Calgary Sun.
But as my former newspaper started to archive stories off the web, my results list started to dwindle, my bylines were disappearing.
I started to feel forgotten, a lingering effect of the pain I felt … nay, feel … over that day almost four years ago when I was told my services were no longer required.
I was a number. A negative effect to the bottom line for Quebecor Media. My $38,000 per year was hurting the company and I became one of 120 cross-country victims to the streamlining.
So many people have asked me if I miss it.
“Some days, with every breath I take,” I respond.
Slightly more than two weeks ago, I wrote My Olympic Dream, bemoaning my absence from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics as a sports writer.
I should have been there. I’ll always believe I could have been there, had it not been for a suffering journalism industry.
Tonight, I was looking for files to support work I’d done on a recent fundraiser.
I searched my name, remembered the Archives section of Google News results and clicked.
Kaboom … Google has been busy indexing past stories from the Sun. Not just any stories … my stories.
There they were, byline after byline after byline … words composed by me.
Instead of heaving the same sigh as I breathed while writing through streams of tears two weeks ago, I smiled, excited to remember the interviews with athletes who now are Olympic gold-, silver- and bronze medallists … John Morris, Kevin Martin, Cheryl Bernard, Joannie Rochette, Shannon Szabados, Clara Hughes …
And the others who are no less accomplished or fascinating … Randy Ferbey, Devan Dubnyk, the WHLers, curlers, baseball and softball players, the Newfoundlanders, the British Columbians …
After downloading those stories and memories tonight, I consider it a career well served, telling the stories of those who committed their lives to feats of athletic prowess, vicariously sharing in their victories and mourning their defeats.
A career on which I now can close the books and focus on activities that make me happy … nights and weekends to pursue my own athletic interests (yay, slopitch!), explore my adopted home of Alberta, breathe fresh mountain air, walk with my dog and enjoy time with great friends.
But if it’s all right with you, I’ll continue to love sports and follow the careers of those athletes … as a fan now.
Sharing them with you here, on Twitter or by clinking glasses at the bar, jumping up to high-five you when the thrill of victory descends upon us.
See you there.