Wrong Turns, Right Places

spud

Just wondering… Actually, not entirely sure what I am wondering…

But something close to…ARE WE GIVING OUR ALL? Walk with me to a place when we were young, a place where we were all grouped by “kids” and grouped by “adults”. Ha Ha-that was something. Our moms sent us out of doors with strict instructions to NOT come home until dinner. We were kids, we followed directions without asking questions. But we were together, we were the “kids”. It didn’t matter if you were Irish, Italian, Catholic, Black, White, Protestant. Not to forget the townies, hicks, bumpkins, motor heads, preppies … and by the way, back when I was a kid those were the minorities of the day. There were names for ALL of us. I could identify with SEVERAL of the groups that were looked down on. What the heck did I care? I identified with most all of them in some way. We made forts in the woods, we played SPUD (kickball), we stayed out until the the bats came diving, played truth or dare, we picked fights, we ran home from the bus stop because a bully was chasing us. BUT, we woke up each day and we didn’t check social media, we weren’t politically correct. I mean, we just WERE. We were kids of immigrants, we were all poor, we all had to work, barely any of us went to college and if we did, we went to the one down the street. And everyday, we gave our all… At play, at school, at life because really, there was nothing that was promised. We went to our little schools big–big attitudes, big shoulder pads, big hair. And eventually it was big brains, and not-so-big apartments and maybe big or small cities but they were all ours. Our people, our family, our jobs, our cities. We contributed and created. We have voted for 7 presidents, bought homes, started families. We gave our all. This letter is to my generation and any who read this and agree, we need to give our all for our families, for our friends close and remote, for our beautiful country… Our home. Politics and divisiveness have set us against each other. Please remember that we are all Americans, we all fear each other and revere each other. God bless our country, our home, our us. God bless us every last one.

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Begendings-my life as a senior in high school

imagesMy life now is comprised of beginnings all tangled up in endings. I don’t know exactly where one begins and the other ends. And to be perfectly honest, I am not sure anyone else actually knows what is the beginning and what is the ending either.

I am asked to lead by example for my school, my team, my younger sibling while at the same time I am asked to define and refine my “reach” and my “safety”. Future… a place I have lived in comfortably for many years now has suddenly changed from an exclamation point to a question mark. I was always happily running to the next step. Can’t wait until I am 5 years old, so I can ride the big yellow bus. Can’t wait until I lose my first tooth. Can’t wait until I ride a two-wheeler by myself. Can’t wait until I am 13, then I will be a teenager. Can’t wait until I am 16, so I can drive whenever and wherever I want. Can’t wait to be a senior, so I can rule the school. So many days that I crossed off the calendar with exclamation points!

Ask me anything about where I am now and I have all of the answers. Things I did not know four years ago are like second nature to me. I navigate my school hallways with ease. Ask me questions about where I am going and I give stock answers. I am unsure and the truth is, I really don’t know. Now, I find I am in the middle place, kind of stuck between winning the race but being held at the start line because it is not yet my turn.

Instead of asking me questions about where I am going to college or my senior quote, senior picture, senior field trip, senior lunch, senior shampoo, please be patient with me while I try and figure it out. Smile at me and don’t forget to tell me when I have done a good job today, because today really matters in my world. Today is where I live. Today is where I love. Today is where I meet up with my friends and laugh. Today is where I look over to you to see if you saw what I just did out there. Today is where I smile and share and stress and try and cry. Today, for me, is all I’ve got. Tomorrow is coming. I know it is there. Please do not feel like you need to be constantly reminding me to plan for tomorrow. Believe me, it is like the big bad wolf and the best birthday present at the same time,  all wrapped up in one! My future waits for me but my present is who I am. It becomes who I become. While I am running to my next place, please help me enjoy the moments in between. The wake ups at home, the homecoming weeks, the victories with my teams, staying up late with my sister solving the world’s problems, the tests, the trials, the silly laughter, the A’s and the F’s, the smell of your cooking, my dog’s excitement when I walk in the room, seeing you in my mirror saying “be safe” as I leave the driveway. These are the things that are making me “me”. The me I have come to be is not only so special to you, but I am special to me because of all of those small, but important things wrapped up in my present. I am excited for where I am going next. Until then, let’s love and live in the little in between times because honestly, when the date on my calendar comes and I pack my bags and set off on my own journey pursuing whatever future is knocking at my door, it is those tiny moments that I am making now that make the future me.