“I don’t think I’m done”: Shea Smith, Editor in Chief
Finding purpose and comfort within the unknown
I’m not good with goodbyes like these, I never quite know what to say. Do I go inspirational, reminiscent, existential or philosophical? Do I urge readers to go out and change the world? Do I tell a sob story about learning and growth? I honestly don’t know. What I do know is that this is completely different than how I thought it would go, but that’s kind of obvious. Everything is so different than anything we could have ever imagined, but honestly, maybe that’s the gift out of all of this. Maybe we needed something to shake our worlds and throw some of us into rock bottom so we could look up and see how much we have ahead and above us.
I look back on my high school years and see different people within myself. I have grown and changed as a person at every turn. I have had different groups of friends, teachers, and experiences who have shaped me into the person who I am right now, but if I’m being frank, I don’t think I’m done. I don’t think any of us are. Maybe in a year or two from now, the person who is writing this will be barely recognizable, and maybe that’s okay. I used to be afraid of the future, and while that sounds cliche, it’s true. It was like looking forward and seeing nothing. I couldn’t imagine what I would be like tomorrow or in two months or even a few years. I couldn’t see any of it.
That much really hasn’t changed. I still don’t know what I’ll look like, who will surround me, or who I’ll be in the future, but instead of being afraid, I’m beginning to find comfort in that idea. Up until this point I have been carrying myself as I expect people want me to. Being the best I can be, trying to be involved in everything, being nice to everyone I see, being the Shea people want me to be. Recently, a couple of bumps and scrapes have changed my outlook. I’m still trying to be the best I can be and as kind and involved as possible, but my definition of the best has changed a little bit.
I’m not saying turning in late assignments and throwing responsibilities to the wind is a good option, it’s really not. But I’m noticing a shift in priorities. I used to find myself the happiest when everyone around me could see I was succeeding. The old me would have truly geeked over senior scholarship night or getting a speech at graduation. While I’m still utterly thankful and grateful for these opportunities and accolades, I don’t see them the exact same way as I did before. I’m not doing them because I want other people to see me do them, I’m doing them for myself. I’m writing this for myself. This is a testament of the person I am now, and hopefully pieces of this will carry on into the future.
While I’m still utterly thankful and grateful for these opportunities and accolades, I don’t see them the exact same way as I did before. I’m not doing them because I want other people to see me do them, I’m doing them for myself. I’m writing this for myself. This is a testament of the person I am now, and hopefully pieces of this will carry on into the future.
I’m finding happiness, joy and love in so many different places I never thought I would. Yes it is important to do your work and maintain the responsibilities of everyday life, but it’s also important to sing terrible pop music at the top of your lungs in a fast food drive through with your friends. It’s important to find and spend time with people you love. It’s important to do things you like to do. It’s important to go fifteen minutes out of your way on the drive home because you want to find that perfect picture of the sunset. While it has been a little rocky understanding how to balance these different things, I think I’m on the way there.
It sounds cliche, but I think this is growth; this is what change feels like. I used to be so terrified of what tomorrow would look like, or even the moment after the next, but now I’m finding solace in that. Tomorrow could be completely different, the world could explode, and our lives could seemingly unravel before our eyes. While that’s not ideal, it is definitely a possibility as we all know, and though it definitely isn’t the best tomorrow we could imagine, it still is a tomorrow that could happen. I guess what I’m trying to say is that there is too much unknown about every single moment we are alive to not live it exactly how we want to.
I would like to thank the Holly Spirit for giving me a home this past year. I never thought I would be dedicated to something that sounds as nerdy as just writing articles, but I have not only found joy in it, I have found something I will continue to do as I go onto my next step in life. This paper is so much more than we could have ever imagined and I am so thankful to have had it in my life for as long as I have. I would like to thank my teachers and administrators who have been here for me through it all, supporting my endeavors and giving me the encouragement I needed to keep going when things got rough. I would like to thank my friends who I have had over the years, whether current or past, regardless of how long we knew each other, because you also helped shape me into the person I am today. And finally, I would like to thank RV. These past four years have been, to say the least, eventful, and while I probably could take or leave a few things, I don’t think I would have it any other way. I am beyond grateful for the home this place has given me, but I also know it is just about time to let go.
Whatever our next steps may be, I know I will go forward living as purposefully as I can. If I have learned nothing else, at least I have this to look back on. And, to be honest, I think this was a pretty good place to call home. Thank you <3