Reflect, then move forward

This post originally appeared in the Dec. 1, 2014 edition of the Wise County Messenger. Featured photo found here.

This year has been a whirlwind. Since last January, I have gone to Thailand, been confirmed into the Catholic Church, graduated college, traveled to Korea to watch my brother graduate high school, helped my family move to Alabama, started my first “real” job and moved to Bridgeport.

And that was just the first six months.

On the professional side, I was the editor of TCU’s news site for the second time around and picked up an award for it. I started working at the Messenger in July, which has had its own challenges and rewards.As fall rolled around, I saw friends get engaged to, get married to, or break up with their significant others. I shared in the joy of some of my friends as they announced the births of their first children and mourned with friends who lost loved ones. I spent my first Christmas on my own, covering what I heard on the police scanner.

I’ve had amazing opportunities to cover things I couldn’t in college, such as sports or city council meetings. I believe I have grown a lot as a reporter and from my time in Decatur.

I feel like I am a different person at the start of 2015 than I was at the start of 2014. I think that’s the point.

This time of year, everyone gets reflective and nostalgic, even if you aren’t paid to write about your reflections. And while it’s great to think back on everything that’s happened this year, it’s also good to remember that life only moves forward and always changes.

Because at the end of another trip around the sun, if you don’t feel like the past year has changed you in some way, then what’s the point?

So this year, try something new. Go skydiving. Get a tattoo. Learn some new skills. Start a conversation with that family member you haven’t talked to in a while. Travel somewhere you’ve never been before. Embrace new experiences.

And in the end, make 2015 better than 2014.

Jake Harris is a reporter for the Messenger.

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