Saying goodbye to The New York Times (but not to journalism)

Friday, July 14, is my last day at The New York Times. I am taking the buyout.

Taking the buyout is a choice I’ve made, a well-thought-out choice that will allow me to take control of the personal and professional paths I carve. It is about pursuing my definition of success.

Success is meaningfulness, so I am setting out to sharpen the meaningfulness of my life. I am grateful for every single day I called myself a staff writer for The New York Times, all the wonderful places I have visited and all the amazing people I have interviewed, many of them under very difficult circumstances. I thank The Times for giving me space to grow and try new things, and I thank the people I have interviewed for allowing me into their lives. Now, it is time for a new challenge. It is time to go deep where I want to go deep, and to go where the story takes me.

I have chosen to stay in Arizona, where I can report and write about the United States-Mexico border, which is a place like none other in the world — and one that I’ve gotten to know so well. I’ll use my history, sensitivity, and perspective to guide the journalism I produce.

Here is what that means to me:

I am going to share my knowledge and mentor budding journalists. Stay tuned for more news on that front soon.

I will produce journalism that is focused on topics I care about most — immigration and the border — and I’m going to do so from the border and from a border state whose demographic, political and economic changes foretell the profound transformations we are witnessing in the United States.

I will continue to report on wildfires, using the expertise I acquired while writing my first book — and which has only deepened since — to bring fresh voices and perspectives about the way we fight wildfires, who fights these fires, and the effects that humans and climate have fires, today and over time.

Much love and appreciation to the editors and colleagues who inspired me and made my stories better along these 12 years at The New York Times.

Now, it’s on to the main event.