Don’t look down

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COURTESY PHOTO

Sarah Jane Chrysler, Editor-in-Chief

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Let me preface this by stating a true fact: I have absolutely no idea what I am doing. I mean generally, as I go to school and maneuver through my life. I walk with my head held high and pretend that I have some semblance of an idea, but in all honesty, I don’t. I feel like an acrobat about to walk out on a tightrope without a safety net for the first time. Every voice in my head is telling me not to look down, but I do and honestly, I’m absolutely terrified.

As I reflect back on my high school years I realize that there are only a few select moments and times that I will reminisce on in 30 years. That tells me something huge: I am ready for the next chapter in my life.

It’s not that I hated high school or anything. It has been an eventful four years to say the least. I studied abroad in Central America during sophomore year, I wrote for The Bucs’ Blade all four years of high school and on top of all of that, I found my confidence.

See the thing is, years down the road I will not look back at the football games I didn’t go to or the things I didn’t do. I’ll look back on the risks I took and the people who supported me through them.

I’ll think of Tibbe encouraging me to step up and be a leader. Of my friend calling me on the phone from Maine to have deep talks about life and of my brother sending me new music when I’m having a bad day. Of my mom sitting on the kitchen floor letting me cry because I’m overwhelmed and need to be told that she is there no matter what.

I’ll think of writing this, my senior column, sitting at the Armory and drinking coffee with good company and of the adventures I took hiking mountains and hearing the stories of revolutionaries in Guatemala first-hand. I’ll think of the endless nights I spent making newspapers and Sunday nights at youth group. I’ll think of all the time I spent at the studio and the ‘family’ that has formed from it.

And I would not trade any of that time or any of those amazing people for the world.  

Now, as my fear for the next chapter of my life grows, these people are reminding me that I am ready, that I have been ready for a long time and that now is what  I’ve been waiting for.

This is what makes me realize that I don’t need to look down as I step out onto the tightrope. I’ll always have a safety net whether or not I feel like it is there. I won’t need it though because these people have helped raise me and helped me grow so much stronger than I ever could have imagined.

What I’m trying to say here is, this place raised me to do big things and it is time for me to do them. It raised all of us to. I don’t need a grand exit with fireworks and a ‘forget you’ to Grand Haven like I thought I would want. In all truthfulness I love this place more than I ever realized and look forward to coming back home once in awhile.

So when you’re about to step out on the metaphorical tightrope, don’t look down because you don’t need to. But if you do look down it doesn’t matter because this place and the people from the little moments from this time in your life will always be here to catch you. This is growing up, it is scary and exciting but there are so many people out there cheering us on, so step out and do it. It is time.

Thank you to the people who make up my safety net and cheer me on. You know who you are.

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Don’t look down