This past week marked my first year on Odyssey, and I am so proud of the personal growth in both my character and my writing. Within a year, I was able to move up from being an average, weekly writer to Editor In Chief of my community; something that I never anticipated would happen. I am so blessed to have this opportunity, and it has helped me develop greater confidence in myself and abilities, as well as improve them.
I remember writing my first piece about a portrait I saw in the Denver Art Museum in Colorado while on my family's annual vacation there. I remember how seeing that portrait startling something in me; a passion that needed to be further delved into beyond what my high school newspaper could provide me. I remember writing about how the portrait was complex, and one that can only be appreciated from several feet back to take in everything at once. I thought about how critical I am of myself, and if I only took the time to take a step back from myself and see everything I was I wouldn't be so hard on myself and realize that I am enough. Although that piece was written a year ago, I never realized how far I was from the reality of self acceptance, especially now that I have grown so much since the time that article was written.
Within this year, I got more involved in extracurriculars, I took three AP classes, gained and lost friends, got heartbroken and disappointed, further developed my own personal style, and continued to strengthen my writing and editing with practice. One thing that I always have loved about life is that you're never done progressing. Even when you think you've learned everything there is to know, there is always more. There are people and situations that challenge, obstacles to overcome, and things to learn about yourself that you never knew. In a way, I'm glad that my junior year of high school was filled with pain. I'm glad I lost friends and romantic interests, because I know they were all apart of my journey towards maturity and understanding. I learned common sense.
Pain, in the moment, sucks. Anyone will tell you that, but if not for pain, we would never grow. We would stagnate, and if your like me, I'm glad I'm 17 year old me that's learned a thing or two instead of 16 year old me that was naïve and overly cautious, or awkward 13 year old me full of self doubt and fear of my unknown future. Everyday I grow, everyday I learn, and everyday I am better. Even if its two steps forward one step back, I am still improving, and thanks to Odyssey, I have grown so much more than I possibly could have imagined.
So, here's to my year with Odyssey, and hopefully many more to come (if I can keep my deadlines.)