Letter from the Editor: On closing the door, but not the conversation

Catalyst was started in the fall of 2017 to highlight the good in our community.

I’ve lived in Midland for 15 years, and have come to find during that time that our biggest asset is our people and the way we feel and talk about the place we call home. In that vein, we’ve highlighted the up and coming businesses, new ideas and the potential in front of us and the story of shaping our future.

We’ve captured the essence of you – our community.

The artists. The performers. The volunteers. The diverse perspectives. The big events. The small, incremental developments. The people who ask ‘why?’. The people who ask ‘why not?The builders. The rebuilders. The advocates for change. The change makers themselves. The stories unique to Midland. The beauty unique to Midland. The stories that are universally impactful. And everything in between.

I also couldn’t have done it without my equally talented partner in crime, Ben Tierney, our advocate behind the camera. Ben is a brilliant photographer and writer and has captured the majority of photos that help tell these stories over the past three years. He is equally responsible for their impact. I’ve also seen his perspective and talent grow over that time and I think we’ve made a good team.

This year has been especially hard, as we all know quite well. I hope Catalyst has highlighted the shoots of regrowth and rebuilding, the efforts of those pitching in to help in times of need, and been a welcome shift from the often politicized views in our society.

In that spirit, running Catalyst has been a joy and passion of mine over the course of the past three years as I’ve led this effort. It’s been a fun side-gig and I’ve gotten to know my community better in the process, through highlighting the good and telling the stories of people, organizations and groups making a difference.

I think the mark of a good writer is having your subjects recognize themselves in the story on the page – a conduit of sorts. I thank you all for sharing those stories with me and us. Over the years, and through that process, I’ve gained both a new and quite unexpected mark of success – did they cry? Candidly, a handful of times over the years, people have shared with me a story we’ve run made them cry as they themselves, or their family and friends, saw the sparks of development in print. Thus, I hope I’ve told the story of our community – your stories – in a way that makes you proud.

Because of that work, it is with a very heavy heart that I share with you that this will be my last issue leading Catalyst. It will be epic and I’m looking forward to it. I will be highlighting our collective ingenuity and some of the important things to come. I have truly loved this work and I hope that it showed.

I’m not going far, though. I’ve accepted a new position within the community, one that will allow me to continue advocating for our region – just wearing a different hat.

I still hope to write from time to time here and no matter what, I’ll always be a passionate advocate for our community and region.

In love and grace – thank you for allowing me to be the conduit for your story. I look forward to cheering from the sidelines and supporting the community any way I can.

Courtney Soule
Managing Editor, Catalyst Midland

Read more articles by Courtney Soule.

Courtney is a longtime Midland resident and enjoys telling the story of the community's evolution. As the Managing Editor of Catalyst Midland, her favorite topics are interesting people, change makers, outdoor recreation and design. Aside from Catalyst, her published work can be found various places including Elephant Journal, Thought Catalog and a number of other websites, papers, menus and the occasional one-liner. 
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