When I was pretty young, I was the kid that hated leaving. I would hide and fight and cry when my parents came to bring me home from a friends house. I would actively time how long I could keep my parents saying good night to me. I just didn’t know what to do when things concluded.
Endings are always strange. I don’t like them. They’re full of desperate attempts to have as much fun and say goodbye to as many things as possible. Frankly, they’re exhausting.
As we leave Oxford, we’re still trying to understand how we ended up in May. A large part of me does not want to leave, but there’s also a part of me that is ready to go home. I’m going to miss the British stereotypes like tea breaks, driving on the wrong side of the road and the accents. I’m going to miss living in these weird houses with these weird people.
But then I think about the things I really miss about home like Mexican food, free refills, Sonic and spicy ranch. And of course family and friends. That makes me ready to leave.
I was also the kind of kid who would go sleepless with excitement at the prospect of beginning something. I reveled in the preparations for the first day of school. I was a firm believer in fully celebrating birthdays for at least a week, and I always expected to feel different when I turned a year older.
Beginnings are equally as strange as endings. They’re hard, but they’re so full of possibilities despite their awkwardness. Receiving the Optimist editor position while in Oxford has been such a beginning. It’s been a tricky transition with an ocean between us. We’ve been trying to figure next year out over email and interviewing next year’s staff members over video chat. It’s been hard. It’s been complicated.
Despite the difficulty, I am genuinely excited about next year. Several people are graduating or moving on, so our staff will be pretty new. But, guys, next year’s staff is first-class and ready to go. It’s going to be a good year.
Let me talk about another ending I don’t like. For some reason someone is letting the current fearless leader of the Optimist, Mark Smith, graduate. Mark has put up with me for two years now. He’s the kind of guy that makes working long, tedious hours not so tedious. He’s bestowed a wealth of knowledge to me. He’s been a good friend, and he has left me big shoes to fill.
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