Goodbye, Cleveland; Detroit is beckoning

Saralyn Norkus
Posted 9/23/17

Cleveland, this is goodbye.

Just 11 months ago I started out a column on a similar note, but this time my goodbye is not to the Cleveland Daily Banner’s sports section — it’s to you.

Not …

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Goodbye, Cleveland; Detroit is beckoning


Cleveland, this is goodbye.

Just 11 months ago I started out a column on a similar note, but this time my goodbye is not to the Cleveland Daily Banner’s sports section — it’s to you.

Not only am I saying goodbye to the Cleveland Daily Banner and Cleveland, but I’m also saying goodbye to journalism, as I’ve accepted a position with a digital marketing agency back in Detroit.

That’s right, it’s time for this bona fide Yankee to return home.

Tomorrow marks my final day with the newspaper and on Wednesday I will embark on the close to 10-hour trip (thank you, Kentucky and Ohio construction projects) back to Michigan.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that this is a rather bittersweet farewell. Cleveland has been my home base for close to 10 years. It’s where I went to college, it’s where I made some of the best friends a girl could ever ask for. It’s where after two years of searching for a full-time job, the Banner took a chance on a girl who had dreams of being a sportswriter.

Despite all of this, Cleveland has never truly been “home” to me, and I’ve always known that this was just a temporary chapter in my life. They say home is where the heart is and after all this time, my heart has remained in the Great Lake State.

I think I truly acknowledged the desire to return home on my last trip up there, which was for my grandmother’s funeral. I was up there for sad reasons but had never felt so at peace. The words “I’m home” kept resounding in my head and when it came time to drive back to Tennessee I actually broke down crying, because I didn’t want to leave. I’m not a crier, so trust me when I say that this was a big moment.

When I was younger, all I wanted to do was leave Michigan. Once I left, I realized that Dorothy was indeed right when she said, “There’s no place like home.”

After coming to the Banner in January 2013, I made a plan for myself: five years here and then I would move on. As you can see, I’m a couple of months ahead of schedule now.

I knew that an opportunity to return to Michigan could become available in the future, and expected that it would line up perfectly with my timeline.

God had other plans, though.

That opportunity became a reality within four days of talking with my new boss, and when presented with the chance to “come back home,” I jumped at it. So, as of Oct. 2, I will officially be working for a digital marketing agency in Detroit as a social media content manager. It’s a job that will incorporate my writing and social media skills, while providing me with a multitude of new things to learn.

While many people like to make negative comments about Detroit, there truly are some amazing things happening in the Motor City. I now have the opportunity to be on the front line of Detroit’s resurgence and couldn’t be more excited!

It would be impossible, in just this column, to thank and acknowledge everyone in Cleveland who has had a positive impact on my life. Please know that you’ve all played a huge role in making me the woman I am today. I’ve appreciated your friendship, your advice, your prayers, but most importantly, I’ve appreciated the trust you placed in me to share the stories of Cleveland. Maybe, just maybe, I’ve been able to make a lasting impression on this place and have helped to positively affect lives in the area.

Before I go, I’d like to pass along one final tidbit of wisdom.

Do not fear change – embrace it!

It’s unacceptable for areas as promising as Cleveland and Bradley County to fall back on the old “Well, that’s the way it’s always been done” mentality. The time for the good ole’ boys club has come and gone, and you’ve got bigger and better things to look forward to.

I know change can be scary and leaving your comfort zone is never comfortable, but it has to be done! Growing pains happen — the good news is that they don’t last forever.

I’ll be looking forward to seeing the changes you make after I leave, because you know I’ll still be coming to visit from time to time.

Cleveland, thank you for playing such an instrumental role in my life.

So hey, this is goodbye – but not goodbye forever.

I’ll see you later, Cleveland.

Oh, and remember, you’ve got people in Detroit.


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