Dear Good Grit Family,
I’ll never forget the little white table at a coffee shop in downtown Birmingham where I first met Laura to talk about opportunities at Good Grit. At least, I thought that’s all we were going to talk about. I had spent my first several years post-grad (sadly) thinking that being unfulfilled by my job was just ‘the way it was’ after school. I had hopped around a bit, from a strict 8-5 desk job, to outside sales…walking through doors as they opened. It all makes sense now – why my husband Tom came home one late summer evening and told me about a woman he met who was starting a magazine in Birmingham. It makes sense now why I majored in Journalism for my first two years of college, with high hopes of working for a magazine, but being led to switch to a more ‘promising’ business degree. I understand now why working in Human Resource Management and then outside sales prepared me for what was ahead. Each ‘step’ was prepping me for the next. The path was leading me to something greater than I could have ever imagined.
That day in the coffee shop, Laura asked me what I wanted to do – what did I dream about? Still in my early 20s at the time, I honestly didn’t have a clue what dreaming looked like – I just knew deep in my soul that I loved building relationships and taking care of people. That day, I learned about an opportunity to join forces with Good Grit – a brand I am proud to represent and identify with. An opportunity I was (and still am) totally unqualified for. Could I come alongside the existing team and help build partnerships? Could I sell advertising? I didn’t know a thing about advertising! But there was this burn…deep deep deep within me. I literally KNEW that this was where God was leading me. The door was wide open – even when I tried to close it…it kept opening. So on January 4th, 2016, I walked right through it.
On my first day at Good Grit, Laura held our staff meeting at Legion Field. We stood on the center of the field, and were instructed to slowly turn our bodies around, a full 360 degrees – and as we turned, to imagine all of the humans that could occupy the stadium seats. Multiply that (already large) number by three and THAT is how many people we had the opportunity to influence through our work at Good Grit. When asked how that made us feel, ‘a healthy burden’ was my response. Throughout my years at Good Grit, that has remained true. It has been nothing short of a tremendous blessing to meet the people I have met and to see the places I have seen…but at the end of each day,
the thing that weighs heavy (in a good way) on my heart is the daily opportunity to encourage and empower every single person who lays eyes on Good Grit.
One of the things I have learned over the past year is that I really don’t believe in the whole ‘work/life balance’ thing. Sure, turning off ‘work mode’ and scheduling our days to be a healthy blend of work, growth, and rest is necessary. But I really believe that instead of work/life…it should be just ‘life.’ I mean think about it - technically laundry, mowing the lawn, caring for family – that’s all work, isn’t it? Yet those things are part of who we are. They’re our responsibility. Our contribution. I believe it should be the same way with our job. Just like with anything in life (marriage, exercise, etc) there are days/seasons that are difficult – when we want to throw our hands up and quit it all – maybe even run away. But we press on. We dig deeper. What I am describing has been my story with Good Grit. I am unashamed by the fact that this brand has become a part of me – it always will be. When I close my eyes, I can see the faces of our partners who are now my friends. I can see the reader I met at an event receiving their first magazine in the mail and being led to tears by a story they can relate to. I can see the hidden gems of the south where I have traveled to. I can see the hearts…the blood sweat and tears of my leaders and colleagues who pour so much into this mission.
And now, in this brand new decade, God is doing something new. The next door on my path has been opened, and ready or not, I’m walking through it.
So while my chapter as Publisher at Good Grit may be ending, things are really just beginning. For me, as I venture into a season living in Colorado with my husband and dogs – a dream that has long been prayed for. For Good Grit - as we all work through these extremely trying days and break free into the light that is ahead. It is truly just the beginning.
Good Grit will always be a part of me, and I’ll always be a part of Good Grit. The (maybe overused) saying ‘this isn’t goodbye, it's just see ya later’ is 100% valid ya’ll. No, seriously – I made the team promise me that I could keep my email address forever and always. So while Sarah Margaret & the other members of the GG team will be the one taking (the best) care of you on a day to day basis, I’ll always be here for you. I am excitedly anticipating all that lies ahead in the days to come – I can’t wait to watch it unfold, and to be a part of the unfolding.
Thank You for believing in Good Grit, and thank you for believing in me.
Sarah Cait Sawyer