By: Kevin Sheehan
What a year! Hasn’t this year been interesting? You might think, “But Kevin, it isn’t quite over yet. You still have another article to write!” You are quite right, so stay tuned for the topic of it.
Every new year brings a subsequent period of reflection of the previous, and a hope for the next. While this year may not have turned out exactly as you hoped, or even planned, you are still here. Things that have happened have changed you and your life forever.
I watch my friends go through changes. My best friends Sarah and David just welcomed to the world their first child Saoirse (pronounced Seer-sha, Irish for Freedom). My adopted brother Abraham just got engaged to his fiancée Janisa (who is now my adopted sister). My sister is giving birth to my nephew (actually as I am writing this article). There are so many others I want to mention, but do not have the space.
I myself have changed jobs twice, going from overnight security to sales positions after I graduated college. I was able to get my first sports bike this year, which many of you may have seen in pictures from this column or Facebook. I started writing for the newspaper, I started getting more involved in the community and going out.
As I reminisce and think of it, last year on December 31st, 2016, while working at my overnight security job, I committed to a New Year’s Resolution that I would stop drinking energy drinks. It started purely as a joke, but after the fourth day (and being too broke to afford the habit), I decided to stick with it.
How bad was my addiction? Well, if you look at the picture, I had shelves in my fridge dedicated to soda and energy drinks such as Monster, Red Bull, Full Throttle, Nos, Redline, Amp, Rockstar, and the list goes on and on. And with any addiction, I hit it hard and knew one day I needed to quit. So, in a little over a week, what once started as a joke will be my one year anniversary of no energy drinks. (I do not count soda or vitamin supplements in that category for all my friends who will swear I was still drinking them.)
So the culmination of all that I have just mentioned really leads me to want to mention the underlaying purpose of this column, which some people may not realize. Sure the header at the beginning gives an insight, but it is a rather short description.
The whole purpose behind “I’m Still Thinking” is to jog your mental faculties. Everything was written for a reason. My goal is when you are done reading the article to think: How does this affect me and those I care about? Is there something I can learn from this? Does this help me have a different outlook than I might have had? Does this help me empathize with others?
But the real challenge is to change where we need to. Change is never easy. In fact, it is probably more frightening than most things. A change into something unknown that requires a “Leap Of Faith” (published February 15th), or perhaps the tough choice of having to “Cut The Rope” (published March 29th) on someone you love in hopes they will learn what they need to. Maybe you have started “Letting Go Of All That Holds You” (Published June 7th) because you have learned hard truths that have forever changed your life. Maybe you had to walk away “When Compost Hits The Fan” (Published August 23rd) and you knew you deserved to be treated better.
The point is, even if you are in the same spot as you were last year, you have changed something. You have learned something, you have progressed. This is the core of this column more than anything else. Everything I have written is to help myself and others progress and search for happiness.
So here is what I would like (this applies to everyone): If you or someone you love has benefitted from my article in any way, shape, or form, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know which article and how it helped. If you are a newer reader, yet you have made progress this year that you are proud of, please let me know too! I want to know what you did to become a better ‘you’, and what you endured that has made you who you are today.
If there is any progression you have made this year, tell me. The first article in January will be written primarily by you. Because this column is not about me; It is about us, and the progression we make. There has been a piece of my heart written in every article this year, now it is time for a piece of yours.
So that leads me to discuss the title of this article and the article for the first week in January. This article is entitled “The Beginning Of The End” to represent the year coming to a close. The first article in January (written using the experiences of readers) is entitled “The End Of The Beginning,” because on this path we walk of progression, we have only started taking our first steps together in this column. I love you all, and look forward to hearing from you.
Disclaimer: I will keep submissions anonymous unless you specify for your name to be used. Due to amount of submissions, I am sorry if not all of them get printed.