Things do not change; we change |

Things do not change; we change

by Christina Connell

Is it just me, or did 2005 fly by? I mean, I have already completed the first semester of my freshman year at high school. It seemed like it took forever to get to high school, and now it’s flying by. Whether it is a new semester or a new year, it seems we all appreciate a fresh start. A new beginning. A chance to wipe the slate clean and start over.

My dad says, “First, we make our choices, and then they make us.” That is true. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a teen or a senior citizen, there is always a consequence – whether good or bad – attached to every decision we make. Unfortunately, some of those consequences are unpleasant and, if we are not careful, may lead us to make more bad decisions out of depression or desperation. A downward spiral of bad habits that we wish we could escape from. Maybe you’d like to make a change and set a new course for yourself.

A lot of people choose January to make a resolution (or two) to change things in their lives. They wait (sometimes most of the year) for January to roll around to make a fresh start – a new year equals a new start. Unfortunately, some of those people slip back into their bad habits before January ends and give up their hope for things to change. Think about it: if someone’s been waiting months for the new year to roll around to make a change and have already fallen short of their goal, it can be frustrating to say the least.

However, I want to remind you that you don’t need to wait for a new year to make a change. Today can be your New Year’s Day. Tomorrow, too. If you sincerely want to change, you must make a commitment to change, and that doesn’t mean giving up if you fail once or twice; keep at it. Easier said than done, huh? Absolutely. But if you give up, if you don’t get back up on the horse, you will never succeed at changing that thing that is so important to you. “They” say that if you don’t change where you’re heading, you’ll end up where you’re going. Where are you going? Do you need to make a course correction or a U-turn? If so, today’s the day. Today is always the day. And if you try and fail, don’t give up. Even if it’s hard, and even if it’s the 20th time you’ve failed.

Be encouraged that you are not alone in this. Others are with you on the path to change. Some will hang in there, some will fail and begin again, and some will turn back and give up completely. Be encouraged that others with similar frustrations and fears have succeeded at the very thing you wish to change about yourself, too. It’s not impossible.

What I’m trying to do (in 600 words or less) is to encourage you to make a positive change in your life no matter how many times you’ve tried before. Remember, you can give in, you can give out, but you can’t give up. I know you can do it.

For seven months now, I have enjoyed writing this column, but it is time to say good-bye; at least for now. My sincerest thanks to the Nevada Appeal and specifically to Maggie O’Neill for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts. Press on.

— Christina Connell has graced the Whatever pages since becoming a freshman at Carson High School.