I missed the first day of my freshman year of high school.
I missed my first half-time dance as a Varsity cheerleader.
In a two week time span, I missed what I thought were going to be the most monumental moments of my life. Luckily, I was wrong.
If I close my eyes and go back to my freshman year of high school, I remember my biggest worries were whether or not my jeans fit perfectly, if my off-the-rack Rue 21 shirt hugged my newfound curves the right way, and if my quarterback boyfriend was going to lead the Montgomery County Wildcats to victory at the upcoming Friday night game. These thoughts consumed most of my time and energy—I kept lists of my outfits because I was afraid that I might repeat an outfit too quickly; I made cookies before the games thinking it was just the extra encouragement the football team needed. My world started and ended under Friday Night Lights.
Those Friday Night Lights no longer illuminate my world. My world is now lit by something much more monumental than a 60 yard pass…
On February 19th, 2010, my little brother was born, and let me tell you, his brown eyes shine way brighter than any football field. And in those big, bright eyes, I saw there was more to life than Friday Night Football. In his eyes I saw a boy who could do anything in the world, and a burning desire to help him accomplish whatever he set his mind to. But how could I do that if my biggest worry had always been high school football? I HAD to experience more for him.
Now I’m in St. Louis—learning, exploring, and growing (and loving every minute of it). I didn’t realize how much growing I had done until I went home for Thanksgiving break. It was there I realized that my life was exponentially different than it was my freshman year of high school. During this realization, I impulse-posted on Facebook how thankful I was to be out of Montgomery County, and it offended a lot of people…
This is my explanation: I saw a boy I wanted to give the world to. I knew I couldn’t give him the world if I stayed in Montgomery County. After spending a few much needed hours with him on Thanksgiving, I was able to recognize how thankful I was for the opportunity to expand my horizons, so I can one day let him know the world doesn’t start and end at the 50 yard line. His options are unlimited.
“It felt like I’d been living underground, and for a moment, I’d been given this glimpse of the sky. Once you’ve seen that, how can you go back where you came from?”
― Jodi Picoult, Handle With Care