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This school year closed like any other.

Many tears were shed and smiles shown. The air that surrounded the fear of moving on to the “real world” lurked with every breath.

There was one event, however, that was special this year.


Candlelight is a tradition at Logan High where a guest speaker is invited to inspire students from the graduating class with a speech about the future or some kind of beautiful success story. The event begins with the graduates lighting a flame and walking the school perimeter. I was planning on leaving as soon as Crimson Colony (Logan High’s chamber choir) finished singing. I don’t graduate until next year – why should I stay?

By the time we sat down from singing, though, the Senior Class officer had already begun introducing the speaker.

I checked my phone for the time. I envisioned a sly maneuver. Like a seasoned spy, I reached for my phone which proceeded to leap out of my hand and crash onto the wood floor creating a loud rumble that echoed through the gym. I again slyly reached down and found my phone, but by this time the speaker was about to begin.

I was stuck.

The speaker caught my attention right away, saying something that really resonated with me.

“The best path in your life will be the one that you make for yourself.”

I’m not sure what else she said. This one phrase swirled around in my brain like a tornado. I had to make a path for myself.

That phrase was still on my mind as I went to audition for a musical the same night. The audition went fantastically, especially considering it was 11:30 pm. However the next morning when I checked the callback list, the familiar pattern of checking for my name was followed by another familiar feeling – disappointment.

I was a little bit frustrated but at the same time relieved. Later in the afternoon as I was driving around with my dad we talked about how you can’t let people decide your future for you. You can’t let a person decide what college you are going to or how successful you will be. You are the one who is in control of your own life. I know nothing will happen if I just sit around and wait for choices to be given to me.

It’s funny – every time my best friend and I watch a movie, we always have the friendly battle of who will choose. It usually lasts for about a minute until someone else will walk into the room and decide for us or someone just gives in and decides or picks at random. I’ve come to realize this occurs because we are human. Our focus is often set on what decision will make others happy but really we should focus on what will be best for ourselves in the long run.

I don’t mean to sound selfish – hear me out…

When we are happy and content and have everything that we need, (not just food, water, and shelter, but music, dance, building things, whatever suits your fancy) that is when we grow and help people the most. When we are comfortable, we can turn our attention to the needs of others.

If you’ve ever flown in an airplane, you’ll know flight attendants give an “in case of emergency” demonstration prior to take off. In the event of oxygen shortage, they advise you to put on your own mask before helping someone else.

The same is true in life.

Put on your own mask so you CAN help someone else. Follow your own path and find people to help there.

Don’t let your decisions be made for you.

Make a path for yourself.

The best path in your life will be the one that you make for yourself.


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