Jones brings his talents to farragutpress; ‘fresh start’ expressed in his own words

Brandon L. Jones, newest addition to the farragutpress staff as a general assignment reporter whose focuses will be feature stories, schools and Town government, gives the following self introduction about “fresh starts.”

“He’s a talented writer who can take a subject and paint quite an impressive picture in words, yet he’s sharp in getting the necessary facts and important details,” said Alan Sloan, farragutpress editor.

It can be absolutely terrifying to begin anew. It can be painful; it can be healing; it can be the cause of so much anxiety; it can be what instills relief; it can be some much more. Going back to Square One can saddle you with any number of emotions and ride you hard back to the proverbial stalls where nothing in this world short of death and taxes, as they say, is certain.

But where in this world would you be if you didn’t reset once in a while?

Some still would be struggling with any kind of personal conflict; they’d be white-knuckled gripping the wheel in traffic; they’d be reminiscing, looking at old pictures wondering what happened; they’d be staring at the backyard thinking of all the things that would’ve looked pretty if already planted; they’d be standing in an office or wherever they work, hating every moment of it all; there would be servers, gas station clerks, bank tellers, sales representatives — there would be any number of people in any number of roles and fields dreaming of anywhere they’d rather not be.

Others then, following some contemplative breaths, find it time finally to say, “One . . .

Two . . . Three . . . Reset.”


Now, reread paragraph one and replace “It can be” with “It’s going to be.”

And it’s necessary depending of course on one’s circumstance. So to that end, here I am, writing to you now. I started at farragutpress Saturday, May 18, feeling all the aforementioned things after resigning from a company for which I’d worked lo these past 10-plus years (on and off for the better part of two decades). Terrifying? You bet your sweet life.

Am I anxious? More than you could know. Am I relieved? Don’t know yet.

This isn’t my first foray into writing for a living. I was a journalist many moons ago before the economy, I like to say, wet its britches back in 2008, and I was laid off with beaucoup other journalists the country over in January 2009, and I let my foot slide with time out of the ever-tightening doors and moved on, brushing myself off and starting a series of random things before coming back to the company I just left, again, for a new opportunity back in the news business all these years later.

What I do know is that I simply couldn’t do it any longer. I knew it for far too long, really. I knew, and I can’t recall from where I heard, that to pick something up I first had to put something down. So I did. I foreshadowed my concerns (do the math) to editor Alan Sloan and got back the following: “The creative juices will start flowing again.” I exhaled a trembling breath; anxiousness subsided and a general sense of relief began to overtake the terror of taking The Big Step.

I picked up my pen again, saying to myself, through all the fear and angst, “This will be my fresh start.” I try and remind myself whenever I see a snakeskin in the wild there’s a bigger snake nearby. It’s growth. It’s life. That bigger snake nearby, too, may be something of a scare or worry, but it’s just living its life the best it can . . . while it can.

And I let whatever feeling I’m up against quietly slither away. You just can’t be what you were after you’ve decided to be what you aren’t any more. And further rambling about, whether you’ve willingly poked your nose in or had it shoved into the bushes, stopping to smell the roses is a brilliant opportunity to take stock and make a subsequent fresh start, so long as you mind the thorns.