From the editor: On moving on: A column about past accomplishments and new dreams

Justin McIntosh, Columbus Alive

These are, essentially, my last words in Columbus Alive, and that has me, like Rich Homie Quan, feeling some type of way. By the time you read this, I'll be the director of digital content at Cement Marketing and Alive web producer Brad Keefe will have assumed interim editor duties. Though I'll freelance for this and other Gatehouse Media properties moving forward, this transition feels particularly monumental to me, so please excuse the nostalgia and self-indulgence that follows.

I won't pretend that reviewing concerts and tasting cocktails is the same kind of hard work my parents did (a nurse and factory worker respectively), because duh. But I am awfully proud of what we've accomplished at Alive in my nearly three years here.

At the very least, I hope this paper helped show you more of your city, even if that was simply discovering a new restaurant or bar or band. But I also hope we've expanded the scope of what Alive is. In short, I hope it's become much more than your guide to the weekend (though it is still that).

I hope you recognized that work in the stories we did about transgendered youth, and the push for better representation in our music scene.

I hope you saw it in our coverage of last year's Fashion Meets Music Festival controversy, which no other competing media outlet in the city would touch.

I hope you saw it in our coverage of marriage equality efforts and in the cover story about a local musician whose struggles with drugs led to his premature passing.

I hope our coverage of Columbus' #blacklivesmatter art movement brought clarity to why that hashtag exists.

I hope our story of a young woman who was paralyzed many years ago by a stray bullet in a gang shootout brought a little grace and humanity to these pages.

I hope you were entertained, of course, by our staff receiving drag makeovers, but I also hope our transparency about our transformations, and some of the buried stereotypes and prejudices that arose within us, might have prompted you to examine what lay dormant within you too.

There are few feelings like the sense of accomplishment you get when a story you conceived and wrote gets published, and that feeling is magnified if the story has an impact beyond simple social media likes and shares. Now imagine you gave that feeling to someone else, by helping them accomplish that goal. That's sort of what it's like to be an editor, and it's addictive and gratifying, so much so I never thought I'd leave this field behind, until recently.

When I told a friend recently I was moving on he asked why I was giving up my dream job. I told him I needed to pursue a new dream, and that's about as simple an explanation as I can give other than to add the timing just feels right.

Sure I'll miss contributing to these pages, but not nearly as much as I'll miss my co-workers and meeting the readers who've made these pages, pardon the pun, come alive. As I always tell new writers, a story is only as good as its sources, so let me end this by saying, as cheesy as it might be, that I'm grateful for all you who make this city what it is, and, by extension, what Alive is.

You did the hard work. We had the easy part. I hope, more than anything else I've written here, that I did right by you.