6 days until I’m 18. That’s less than a week!
2014. The year we lost Robin Williams and Maya Angelou, Shirley Temple and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Two Malaysian airplanes fell out of the sky. Ebola threatened to kill everyone. Justin Bieber was arrested and Flappy Bird was taken from the app store. Russia hacked the White House and North Korea hacked Sony over “The Interview”.
2014. The year I joined Civil Air Patrol. The end of Sophomore and beginning of Junior year. I was actively involved in the Engineering Tech Prep program through Project Lead The Way. When I grew up, I knew I wanted to be an Aerospace Engineer. My heart was set. I was a part of starting the robotics team at my school, and quickly became the team captain. Robotics was such a huge part of my life. I loved engineering, computers, planes, anything to do with technology. Looking back, I honestly don’t know why I didn’t join the chess club.
Who was I in 2014? I was shy and awkward. I wore my favorite black combat boots everywhere until they eventually fell apart. Seriously, I colored them in with nail polish once because part of the leather got damaged. I was way too attached to those boots. My pants of choice were skinny jeans, and tight shirts were my forte. I wore very little makeup and loved dying my hair; it had been auburn and pink and blue. Later on in the year, I developed a liking for ties and baseball hats.
I loved writing, especially poetry. I started writing a novel, but never really finished it. Every now and then I think about going back to it. I should really find motivation to continue. I loved music, especially marching band. My trumpet playing skills had increased greatly since being third chair in middle school, and I was getting 1 ratings in solo and ensemble competitions as well as being a member of a local youth concert band and playing taps for my high school. I was a member of Drama Club, having taken part in plays and musicals like “West Side Story”, “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus”, “Wizard of Oz”, “A Christmas Carol”, and “The Trial of Ebeneezer Scrooge”. We took a trip to see “Wicked” live, and it was one of my favorite things.
I went to the Sadie’s dance with my best friend at the time, and we ditched after drinking hot chocolate. I watched a lot of NASAtv, and I especially remember the Soyuz 41 launch. Astronaut Samantha Christaforetti from Italy had a Olaf stuffed animal on board, and it was the coolest thing. Our CyberPatriot team got first in the state. I met USAF Major Caroline Jensen, at the time she was Thunderbird 3. I saw Family Force Five live. I got to pie my English teacher in the face. The only thing I remember about Junior Hoco is going to Dunkin Donuts after. I got to fly a flight simulator and a couple of planes, as well as attending my Civil Air Patrol Basic Encampment at Wright Patterson AFB.
So, all in all, 2014 was a fun year. It was pretty busy, too. But, I couldn’t have asked for anything any other way. Everything going the way it did got me through some major changes. People I’d met through my Engineering program turned into some of my best friends that year. Civil Air Patrol taught me who I was and who I wanted to become. Other cadets I met started to feel like family.
2014. Though I did so much, it was still an incredibly hard year for me. I was dealing with so many things, things no one should ever have to go through. But, because of my friends and family, and all of the things I did that year- I got through it. Not only surviving, but smiling as well.
Dum spiro spero.*
*While I breathe, I hope. Also a beautiful arrangement for wind band by Chris Pilsner. I had the amazing opportunity to perform this piece and many others with the Stambaugh Youth Concert Band.