A Year Ago Today

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Diana Garza, Co-Sports Editor

Life never takes anyone down the road they originally chose. Even if someone is lucky enough to pick their own “yellow brick road”, it is guaranteed to be filled with upside downs, twists and turns, and full of blockades. Before Corona put fun on pause, I was traveling down a road that ended with a summer full of life. No one fathomed that a worldwide pandemic was going to interrupt our lives, stranding us in our homes with only Netflix as a companion, but it did. Not only did life basically end, but as a dancer, competition season was forced into an abrupt end. A year ago today I was probably having lunch with my friends, going to the mall, dreading practice, and hating waking up early for a competition. But the truth of the matter is, I’m guilty of taking those precious moments for granted. I can’t wait to be released back into the world and be happy that I am a part of it. When it is finally safe to end social distancing, I hope society can transform the angst we felt during this time into more opportunities to create beautiful memories. 

I’m fortunate enough to have friends worth making memories with as well as a generally positive outlook on life. However, I can’t help but regret that I didn’t experience my time outside of home with the passion it deserved. Instead of being present during times of joy, I was worried about whether my hair looked okay or if I said the right things, which are both trivial matters. I don’t want to spend my life anxious about every “what if” or not recognize the value of time. When I look back at the happiest moments of my life, I don’t want to have any regrets. But right now, I can’t help but regret my decisions. Not because they were bad, but because they were meaningless. There’s no point in having fun if there’s no happiness behind it. 

Not only would real happiness translate into better memories, but it would uplift our community. As high school students, I think we really tend to be negative as well as critique everything we come into contact with. Looking back at sophomore year I want to scream at myself to smile more, be nicer, and just admit that the world isn’t against me. 

At the beginning of sophomore year my life was full of football games and late nights with my friends. But, as the year went on I was soon consumed by finals, dance competitions, as well as a lot of homework. The fun that many of us started our year with quickly diminished as life progressed, and for absolutely no reason. We spend our lives making endless excuses as to why we can’t be spontaneous, that we forget the excitement that drove us in the first place. I guess what I am trying to come to terms with, is that the life I lived was merely an existence. It’s not that I regret not trying new things or anything like that, but I simply wish I lived a real life, not a shell of one. 

As the quarantine continues, I think we all have learned to value our world much more than before, and we should never forget the longing we felt for the outside universe. Life can’t return as if a pandemic never occured when stay-at-home orders are lifted. Whether it be showing kindness, putting down your phone, or any other form of existential improvement, the world must change. 

When this is all over and you realize that there is so much more you could have experienced, return to society with the intention of making memories that embody happiness.