As the newest addition to the Leader-News staff, I thought it fitting to take a moment to introduce myself. I hope to get to know many of you on a first name basis in the near future. Here’s a little insight on the road that led me back to Wharton County and to the El Campo Leader-News.

We’re conditioned as children to always look toward the future. We are frequently asked what our plan is and what do we want to be when we grow up. When that answer changes, or when we realize the plan we’ve held on to so long isn’t the right plan - there’s no guide for that.

Just like everyone else, God knit me together with a certain set of qualities; a heart for service and helping others, a loud boisterous fun-loving personality, a sense of humor that tows the line of morbid or crass a bit too often and a bubbly, social butterfly effect that often allows me to enter a room of strangers and leave with friends.

It’s not always easy being the loudest, most opinionated lady in the room. I wrestled for a long time with trying to be what I viewed as a better version of what God made. More demure and soft-spoken, more heartfelt, quieter, slower to react, less apt to over share. I could keep going.

I have spent the last 10 years pouring into the hearts and minds of other people’s children as an elementary school teacher.

There were aspects that brought me great joy, but overall I found myself burned out and overwhelmed.

When I found myself scraping the bottom of my barrel with nothing left to give, I assumed, for a time, it was my fault. If I was (fill in the blank), I wouldn’t be searching for something more.

It took me 34 years to accept a very simple truth I’ve spoken aloud many times, but had not applied to myself and that is God doesn’t make mistakes.  

When my dear husband, Jared, took a position with Energy Transfer that allowed us to move back home to Wharton, I gave myself the grace to take a break from education and hoped fervently that there was something out there that would not only fulfill my needs as a person, but have a specific use for all those personality traits that I once viewed as defects.

This newspaper has afforded me a wonderful opportunity to embark on a career journey that not only allows, but encourages me to be social.

I’m excited to be out and about in the community, visiting local organizations and covering events. Being social, making acquaintances and fostering friendships, all right in my wheel-house. Spreading the word on all the positive things happening around us.

I can’t wait to get elbow deep in all of the goings-on of El Campo. I have so much to learn about this town I strive to make strong connections in.

 I look forward to hearing, with each new family or citizen I meet, the small-town ties that knit everyone together, the colorful stories of El Campo and Wharton County of the past, plans for the future and looking for the nooks and crannies where I begin to fit in. I’m excited to put down roots with you all, listening to your stories like an old friend.

Although raised in Wharton County, my husband Jared and I have been residents of far South Texas for the past decade. In that time, we adopted the two most precious daughters in the world, Bonni and Amelia. They are our everything, of course.

It gives me great comfort and a sense of security to have us home, in Wharton County. It also brings me joy to take on a profession that allows me to be the best mother I can.

At the end of the day, that’s what it all boils down to; being the best woman in Christ, the best mother, best professional and community member I can be.

I’m excited to show each and every one of you what I bring to the table and how best I can serve you, El Campo.

Candice Robertson can be reached at lifestyle@leader-news.com or 979-543-3363.

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