Senior stopping point

August 22, 2012 seems like an eternity ago, almost like a dream. So many stories have been written, milestones have been passed since then. Reading the words I wrote that day… it seems like a different person. Everything was in front of me. But why, for my last blog, am I talking about a day so far in the past?

That’s the day we met, buddy.

On that hot August day, I explained that, “… I’m a senior here at Francis Howell Central, but in a way I’m just starting out,” and I wasn’t going to go at it alone. I extended my hand, and in true Cub Scout fashion, asked you to be my buddy. “… my football buddy, possibly my track buddy, my newspaper buddy, my senior year buddy, and my travel buddy over what’s shaping up to be the busiest year of my life.” You accepted, and on went the ride.

From the onset, I knew you were a resilient one. Within a week, I diagnosed myself with a mental illness — the imaginary (yet very real) Attention Priority Disorder — and you didn’t run for the hills. My overly dramatic rants about backyard football tournaments didn’t deter you either. It was soon obvious: you were riding with this goofy dude for the long haul. Week after week, you dealt with my sophomoric wackiness.

So I said whatever the heck I wanted.

I ranted to you about Toys ‘R Us customers — those vile creatures — and how a simple “thank you” would prevent me from comparing them to ungrateful cats. I expressed my confusion when my class schedule got dumped on its head and somehow referenced Winnie the Pooh in the same blog. I painted Twitter as the charred, depressed town of Twitterville during the social media account craze (@SpartanStatue, I’m looking at you.) Recently, I smiled at a homeless woman.

All the while, you stuck by me.

You stayed with me through the emotions of an unforgettable football season, even when I had a concussion and blogged about juggling hand warmers on the sidelines. You understood when I decided to forego running track to focus on journalism. Whenever I left for a few weeks, you were right there waiting upon my return. Before your eyes, I grew as a writer and as a person.

Well, now, they tell me, I’ve grown up. Or at least enough for them to kick me out of here. They’re shooing me out of the blue thinking chairs of 139, off the pages of FHCtoday, and on to the next chapter in my life. Before long, I’ll be packing my bags and heading off to Mizzou.

Hopefully there, I’ll continue to grow. Continue to write. Maybe one day I’ll talk to you from the pages of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Then, I’ll look back and say, “this is where it all started. This is where I created a special bond, a band of buddies.”

Without you, without this blog, without this escape, I couldn’t have conquered my senior year. It was jam packed with new opportunities, jam packed with new experiences and stresses. Once a week, I could forget about it all, relax, and just write. You were someone to vent to, to confide in, to overwhelm with cheesy jokes. Whether you read this blog weekly, sporadically, or once, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Senior year was a success.

I’ll see you around, buddy.