Rock, Tree and House

Wishing things didn’t happen only devalues the lessons you learned from them

Veronica Meiss

Being forced to choose careers and how my life was going to go was always much more difficult than it should have been. 

I fumbled between teaching, writing and acting jobs for the first twelve years of my life. Whenever teachers asked what I wanted to do when I was older, I always randomly chose one of those three options to say.

I never gave a consistent answer until my eighth-grade year, when I slowly began obsessing over Disney’s musical Newsies

Newsies is a broadway musical based on a movie, which was based upon the Newsboy Strikes of 1899. The musical goes through the story of 17-year-old Jack Kelly leading the newsboys in a strike against unfair wages and working conditions. Journalist Katherine “Plumber” takes special interest in the newsboys and decides to give them real estate space on the paper she works at: The Sun

Her main song, “Watch What Happens” is about how she really has no idea what she’s doing, but she knows she has to write this story to help those “exploited” and invisible children. The whole song, she’s convincing herself that once she writes that story, things will get better for the Davids against the Goliaths.

It’s a cinch

It could practically write itself

And let’s pray it does, cause as I may have mentioned

I have no clue what I’m doing.

Those are my favorite few lines from that song. If you wanted a quote that describes me as a writer, and that’s probably the best I could give you that’s the most accurate. 

Listening to her song and watching Kara Lindsay’s performance made me realize I wanted to shine the spotlight on the individuals who can’t do it themselves. That was when I decided I wanted to be a reporter. 

Everything began to click into place from that moment on. I excelled in the 21st Century Journalism class. I joined the school newspaper. I became the Managing Editor. In May, I became Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper with one of my closest friends. 

Things aren’t just going great in the journalism world, I’m the senior Drum Major for the Marching Cougar Pride; I’m in a wonderful relationship with my partner, who makes me happier than I’ve ever been; and I feel incredibly loved by every single person in my life. 

For the longest time, I was so worried about knowing where I stood in the world.

I used to only be “Thomas’ little sister.” Now, people don’t even recognize he’s my brother. If anything, they even don’t believe me when I tell them I have an older brother. My little brother will have to deal with that soon, but I trust he’ll become his own person like I did.

I wish I wasn’t a senior yet. I wish I spent my other three years of high school being as confident and sure of myself as I am now. I wish I had dated my current partner sooner. I wish I was diagnosed with ADHD sooner. 

I wish, I wish, I wish, I wish.

As much as I want to go back in time and re-do everything, my fortunes couldn’t have come at a better time. It took a lot of maturity and growing up to be as confident as I am now. If I had dated my boyfriend my freshman year, I wouldn’t have been even close to selfless or caring enough to date them. I wouldn’t have realized I had ADHD if it wasn’t for COVID-19 forcing us to do online learning my sophomore year. 

Wishing I could go back in time to change everything only devalues what I’ve learned these past few years. If I could give any seniors advice, it would be to recognize what you went through to get to this point. Both the good and the bad.

Would we be at this point without the cut-off freshman year and continuous online learning? Would we have as much school spirit if last year’s seniors didn’t win the spirit stick every time?

Recognize even the smaller events, too. Would I be at this point in my life if I hadn’t had mono last September? Would I be at this point if I didn’t go to Dallas this summer? Let me stop myself before I continue rambling about the neverending “what ifs”. 

Continue to live your life to the fullest, even if the man upstairs throws every rock, tree and house at you.