Editor’s Note: The following is a heartfelt and somewhat verbose open letter from the online editor of Edible Baja Arizona (aka me) expressing gratitude for the experience of working with eBA for the past year and a half. If you’re looking to get straight to the job posting so you can submit your application, you can find it here: EdibleBajaArizona.com/Employment.
Dear Baja Arizona,
The time has come for me to leave my position as Online Editor. This comes after extensive soul searching, and I admit to having more than a few misty-eyed moments at the thought of leaving a position that I have absolutely adored.
When I started working for eBA, I was the mother of a snuggly little three-month-old baby who took her naps spread out across my lap while I typed on the computer at home, and the staff of Edible Baja Arizona was incredibly patient and understanding as I struggled and strived to find the balance between caring for a rapidly growing baby and sustaining a rapidly growing blog. While that sense of balance remains elusive – or perhaps is better understood as a chaotic balance – the past year and half has been an incredibly fulfilling experience, both professionally and personally.
During my time with Edible Baja Arizona, I have discovered a world of local food that is both broader in its scope and more personal in its importance than I ever imagined. I started this job as someone who tried to shop at local businesses and eat at local restaurants when I could; I am ending this job as someone who will put off buying something at the grocery store–no matter how convenient–in order to give my dollars to someone who lives and grows here in Baja Arizona. I cannot resist the rich golden yellow of the yolks from fresh local eggs at the farmers market, or the way community becomes a palpable thing as I walk between the lines of vendors stalls. I have been inspired by the good humor and determined spirits of the winemakers, farmers, brewers, ranchers, roasters, bakers, and all the other makers and producers whom I’ve had the chance to talk with through our Edible Excursions tours or local food events. I have been transformed by meeting the people who fight for buying local, eating local, and living local against an economic narrative that considers the rise of big box stores and online behemoths a positive force based on what it means for Wall Street, never mind what abandoned shops and farms these superstores and their infrastructure leave in their wake. I have personally had a front row seat for the continued rise of downtown Tucson, from the boarded up storefronts my teenage self walked past after school to a city center that hums with energy seven days a week. I have been proud to be part of this fight for our local community, in whatever small way my position has allowed me to be, and while there is still so much more we can do, there can be no doubt: we are growing a beautiful thing here in Baja Arizona.
Meanwhile, my baby who quietly sat and played while I typed away on a blog post has grown into a toddler who runs fearlessly across our backyard and brings books to me with a smile each time I crack open my laptop. She needs her mama to help her explore the world around her more than ever before (even if it’s just to know I’m by her side), and I find that I need to shift my focus to something a little closer to home, tilting the balance toward taking care of my rapidly changing and growing kiddo.
This does not mean you’ve seen the last of me. When I started working here, I was delighted to have the opportunity to bust out the writing skills I spent too many years in college developing. While I’ve begun that work in my current position, I will be turning full-time freelance writer and artist after I leave my online editor position. There are so many projects that I’ve been putting off that I can’t wait to get started on – including the return of Local Girl Goes Local as a regular column on the eBA blog! While I may be reaching the end of my time in the Edible Baja Arizona office, when it comes to supporting the local businesses and community of Baja Arizona, I’m just getting started.
I have loved working with each and every one of the Edible Baja Arizona staff members. Coming into the office has been a highlight of my week – and not just because I got to escape baby clutches for a few hours. I will miss the friendly banter, the enthusiasm for supporting and exploring the local scene, the ebb and flow that is the magazine production cycle, and the daily interactions with my coworkers. I know I haven’t been here all that long in the grand scheme of things, but I have truly loved this job. I have felt so much pride in being able to say that I am a part of Edible Baja Arizona, and I am forever grateful for having had that experience while working alongside such awesome people.
I will not be stepping out the door immediately – we still need to find my replacement, after all! – but I will most likely enjoy my last day in the eBA office sometime in early October. Until then, I look forward to continuing to bring you the Edible Baja Arizona blog coverage that you love. I’m going to miss my desk and everything that came with it more than I can say, but I want to thank you, Baja Arizona, from the bottom of my heart, for being an amazing and unforgettable community, and for making my time behind the online editor’s desk something I will always remember with a smile.
Edible Baja Arizona
If this sounds like the kind of job experience you’d like to have, or if you’d know someone who might be interested, here’s the link for the job posting, including details on how to apply: EdibleBajaArizona.com/Employment. Applications are due by Monday, September 12.