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Samantha Jones

Sam's Notebook

Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is CCNNews@cox-internet.com

Making a home

Friday, July 12, 2019

Five years ago, Gideon and I were at a crossroads. I had just graduated from college and he was finishing up his degree. We lived in a dilapidated former bed and breakfast at the top of Kessler Mountain in Fayetteville with way too many roommates. When the plumbing went out, we used the bathroom in a hole in the back yard. It was pure luxury, folks.

To make things even sweeter, we were unemployed and hemorrhaging money just to get by. I had spent months applying to every job you could imagine, but I didnít have any bites yet. At some point, I stopped trying to find a journalism job. It seemed too unrealistic ĖĖ I couldnít get a call back for a secretary position, so why did I expect to find work at a newspaper with extremely limited experience?

Around mid-July, hopelessness started to creep in. They talk about the real world all the time in college, but nobody can prepare you for it. I certainly didnít feel prepared. I eventually found a data entry job for a credit card company and felt grateful for the opportunity. In fact, I was waiting to complete a pre-employment drug screen and background check when I got a message about a journalism job in Carroll County.

Two days later, I called the credit card company to decline the position. They asked me why, and I told them I was offered a job reporting the news in Carroll County. One week after that, Gideon and I moved into a little apartment in Eureka Springs. We had a mattress, futon, two outdated laptops, a computer monitor that doubled as a TV and $1,000 between the two of us. I remember sitting on the floor of the apartment sobbing the first night we stayed there, feeling relieved and overwhelmed at the same time.

It felt like we were on the verge of something big, like we could finally stop to take a breath. It didnít take long for Gideon to find a job at a hotel, where he continued to work while earning his masterís degree. In the five years we have lived in Carroll County, I have been promoted (twice!) and Gideon has achieved his dream job: a public school English teacher.

Weíve supported each other through all of this, celebrating major milestones like my professional awards, Gideonís internship at Eureka Springs High School and our wedding anniversary. This year, we celebrate three years of marriage and six years together. We have spent almost all that time in Eureka Springs, working nonstop to secure a stable future.

Truthfully, I didnít consider Eureka Springs home when we moved here. It was a place to live and work for the time being. I wasnít sure what would come next or how long we would be here. Part of me didnít want to get attached, but I realize now that is silly. When you live and work at a certain place, it becomes your home.

Today, Gideon and I have more furniture than we ever imagined, careers we love and a healthy savings account. We are members of Eureka Springs Community Center and volunteer for Good Shepherd Humane Society. Over the

past few months, weíve attended several local galas and events benefiting nonprofits we care about.

Maybe we didnít realize it at the time, but Carroll County was our home from the moment we moved here. Somewhere along the way, we embraced it. That might be the best decision Iíve made in a long time.

To those of you who feel lost, I hope you know Iíve been there. Itís scary to feel like you donít have a place in this world. But if you take a step back, you might find youíve already found your place ĖĖ and itís right where youíve been the whole time.