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Column: A year in the books

2017 is coming to a close and, like always, its time to reflect on what changes had the biggest impact on your life.
2017 is coming to a close and, like always, its time to reflect on what changes had the biggest impact on your life. - 123RF Stock Photo

As 2017 nears its end, it becomes time to reflect on the previous 12 months.

Whittling down the last 12 months of your life is never an easy endeavour. Especially, when you have only a small space to do so.

This year offered a couple of changes that took some getting used too for this lowly columnist.

Heading into 2018, Ive been tasked with coming up with one moment or event that defined my year.

Thats a rather obvious one I believe.

2017 featured one gigantic change and that was packing my bags and doing as Fievel did in “An American” Tail. I went west.

At the end of February, I loaded whatever I needed and headed for Corner Brook.

It really set up everything else that happened for the rest of 2017.

It felt very similar to year I shipped off to Halifax for a year to complete my journalism schooling at the University of Kings College. New places

Coming to Corner Brook meant moving away from family and friends, adjusting to a new home, meeting new people and catching up with some old friends.

It also meant getting involved in Corner Brook baseball for the first time in several years. It was where I first learned to appreciate the genius of the game and it was great to get back to it.

There have been hardships. It’s never easy walking into a situation where youre the new kid in town.

You battle loneliness at times — I know I did — but you can find yourself in the low moments.

You learn about fending for yourself, trying to stay within a budget (which Im not very good at) and adapting to a place that isnt your home. I probably shouldve been good at all that, but Im not.

So, theres been a rather lopsided learning curve.

You learn about the people there and get accustomed to how they do things.

If there was a theme to this year, it was stepping outside my comfort zone.

Whether it was taking on a new professional role, becoming a part of a team where I know no one or making the trip to an abandoned community on a desolate shoreline, 2017 challenged me to extend myself beyond what Im used to.

It’s all a byproduct of making the eight-hour drive to the west coast.

With 2017 slipping further toward 2018, I think Ive finally found the answer to a question Ive been asked countless times since coming to the west coast.

How do you find Corner Brook?

It took a little bit, but it’s starting to feel like home.

— Nicholas Mercer is the online editor with The Western Star. He lives in Corner Brook and can be reached at

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