The mountains have always been home to me. Being born and reared in Northeast Tennessee, a mountainous landscape was always part of the background. As a boy, I climbed the mountains, camped and fished in them, and hunted for wild game along their ridges and valleys. The mountains became part of who I am as a person. Perhaps that’s why I returned to Northeast Tennessee at a pivotal moment in my life.
An Implosion Caused Me to Seek the Mountains
After investing over 20 years in a people-oriented service career, my world came crashing down when the religious organization for whom I worked dismissed me without cause and subsequently destroyed my reputation to cover their actions. At age 43, I was left with no home, no job, few friends, a family of seven to provide for, and absolutely no resources. We were 500 miles from any family.
My only recourse was to move back across the state to Northeast TN and into a small home with my parents. At the time, the mountains were a welcome sign of returning home to the place of my youth and little else. In time, I came to realize that those mountains signified more to me. They represent strength and dependability, the characteristics of my family who took us in without question or hesitation.
Further, those mountains represented solid relationships I had from the past. People who believed in me and offered me opportunities to work and begin rebuilding my life and an entirely new career. I began in education and further honed some important skills that enabled me to launch out later to begin an entirely new journey.
Strength and Character are a Hallmark of the East TN Mountains
In 2013, I began a side business that focused on copywriting and copy editing for digital marketing firms. In 2018, Michael Stover – Freelance Writer & Editor became my full-time focus. I currently serve over a dozen regular clients across the globe and many sometime clients with digital copywriting and editing services.
I have come to realize that the mountains of Northeast Tennessee represent something else. Many people of strength and character have invested in me over the years. Each one of them contributed in some way that enabled me to begin and grow a profitable business. Without these elements of character, integrity, and dependability, I would never have been able to pick myself up, dust off my “britches,” as we say in East TN, and start over from scratch.
The significant people in my life here in Northeast Tennessee are the real reason I returned home. I want to live and work among people I can trust, relate to, and enjoy. In my community, a person’s word is still good. People can and do agree to disagree, and they do so agreeably, as mature adults who value other people as worthy of respect. Honesty and courtesy are hallmarks of almost everyone you encounter.
Michael Stover – Freelance Writer & Editor