Tracking my passion

Think back with me. Take your mind backwards in time, and stop your psychological finger on my first blog, “Senior starting point.” Reading it now, it gives off somewhat of a nostalgic feeling, even if it was only less than four months ago. At the time of that blog, every one of my experiences were a shot in the dark on what I thought they might be. There I was, a wide-eyed new senior/wide-receiver, expectations as high as possible.

At one point in that blog, I mentioned that one of those expectations was joining the track team. “Along those same lines, indecision and lack of determination have prevented me from joining the track team each year I’ve been at Central. Well, next semester might be the moment where I change that,” I wrote. I went on to say, “Then again, who knows, that’s a long way away. (See why I haven’t been involved in much?)”

Well, what I’m about to say will probably make you think I’m cowering, think that I’m falling back into my uninvolved ways, but I sincerely hope not. I probably won’t be running track this year.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, I can see you already getting up in arms — ease up, cowboy. Contrary to what you might think, this decision does not come from laziness, and it does not come from cowardice. In fact, it comes from the exact opposite.

I have firmly found my passion, and that is what I’m choosing to focus on.

See, at another point in the blog I mentioned that I was new to the Central Focus staff. “Writing has always been a passion of mine, and that has grown exponentially in recent years,” my first blog read, but looking back, I didn’t even know the half of it. This past semester, room 139 has been less of a classroom and more of a secondary home, a safe place from all outside distractors, and a place to create things to be proud of. This semester as a staff reporter, I have not only become incredibly comfortable with the Central Focus family, but I’ve realized something: writing is for me, and here’s why.

See, writing is simply different than anything else. Math, for instance, is not for me. Whenever I struggle in math, or whenever I realize that an area of my mathematics can improve, I care about as much as a koala bear comfortably curled up in a Eucalyptus Tree. The sight of a crappy math score doesn’t fire me up on the inside and make me strive to be better; at the most, it’ll get a, “Gee, that sucks.” And when I see the work of the masterly mathematicians in my class, I don’t exactly jump out of my seat in jubilation; my excitement is expressed through my snoring. For writing, this isn’t the case.

Being in room 139 has been a blessing; constantly, I’m surrounded by incredible writers, all in their own unique ways. And unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on the way you look at it), I’m eternally stricken with the writers curse: give it a few days, and my published works are magically filled with imperfections. So being endlessly supplied with ideas, be it through reading through or grabbing the most recent issue of the paper, fills my mind with ways to remedy the faults I find in my own writing. No, I’m not a copycat. I’ve just become fascinating with writing and making my own better.

I admire Amy Sweeney’s writing for its grammatical ease, Cody Jones’ writing for his voluminous vocabulary (was that good, Cody?), Blake Beck for his ability to make a piece feel complete and come full circle. Recently, Maddie Wilson’s center spread story on Amanda Pelletier absolutely knocked my socks off: instantly, I was inspired to improve my ability to paint a picture for the reader. These people and countless other 139ers fuel my passion, which has in turn fueled my decisions for later in life.

Before I joined the wacky group that is the Central Focus staff, I only tentatively wanted to go to Mizzou — hey, they made cool hoodies — but now, I am fully convinced. Columbia is home to arguably the best journalism school in the country, and that is where I want to take my life. Just this week, I got accepted.

So next semester is going to be the semester that begins my life as a dedicated journalist (if all goes well), and anything else would be a hinderance to that. This semester gone by was football and journalism, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. But next semester will be a semester for journalism, not track, and I say that with a confident smile on my face. I look forward to it for the mere fact that I have an amazing outlet to do what makes me happy.

And you’re invited, buddy. See you next week.