My time has come to say goodbye

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By Matt Birkholtz

About two years ago, I came to Grant County to be a sports writer.
It was a dream job from the beginning, being able to cover sports since I didn’t have the athletic ability to go anywhere beyond high school cross country.

After getting my degree in journalism from Northern Kentucky University in 2009, I began a year-long search for a local sports writer position.

I found it in July of 2010 in this community.
During this time I have learned how community journalism works, the fun times, the hard times and even the sad times.
I have done a lot of soul searching for a long time and have decided it is my time to move on to a different career.

After countless hours covering the sports teams for Williamstown Independent Schools and Grant County Schools, I realized how much time I was spending away from my fiancé and my family.

Family is an important part of my life and without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. They have backed me up in whatever career I have chosen, even when it meant sacrificing time with them.
I am getting married in nine days and I looked at what I have put into my work here at the Grant County News. I decided I needed to find a job where I am coming home at a decent time on a regular basis.

I want to be able to call up friends and be able to go have a drink or watch a game with them.

Life is too short and because I’m getting ready to start a new chapter in life and in all fairness to my new wife, I don’t want to be married to my job. Being a journalist is tough. It’s a lot of nights, weekends and long hours, especially for a sports writer.

My dad worked in education for 39 years, including a majority of my 26 years of life in administration. I promised myself that I wouldn’t invest my life into my job and miss out on family moments.
Obviously, sports writing no matter whether I was the sports writer here or worked as the beat writer for the Cincinnati Reds, the amount of sacrifices journalists make, is just something I don’t want to do to my family.

Writing is an integral part of me and I will not stop writing once I leave on June 1, but I will not let it keep me away from what I hold dear.

I plan on writing a young adult novel about baseball. Hopefully, it can be published.

I want to say thank you to the Grant County News for giving me this wonderful opportunity. I have enjoyed my time with the paper and getting to know the community over the past couple of years. You are some of the kindest people I have met and I hope that the sports teams will thrive after I am gone.
God bless all of you.