Monday, March 23, 2015

Life is a Camera

As many relatives, friends, and members may know our team is obsessed with quotes. As the past few weeks have progressed, all of us have been reminded that we have made a huge impact throughout the year but that we only have 3 months of office left. As these words hit me, they may hit me hard; however, it is better to celebrate rather than frown. A quote that depicts how the 2014-2015 team lives goes like this:

 “Focus on what’s important.” As a team all of us have a lot to focus on, but as the year has progressed we have learned to focus hard on what is important to us. Usually, when I talk to my teammates they say one of the most important things this year that is nearest and dearest to their hearts is the members. The members that have driven us to improvement. The members that have kept us positive throughout the year. The members who have truly changed all of our lives. Although we come from different areas and distances, every one of us have realized that miles bring family closer to the heart. Whether it was calls on the way home or sending baked foods back to Trafalgar with us, our families have truly shown us what love is and we could not be more grateful.

“Capture the good times.” Lindsey and Brittany are great photographers and capture so many of the good times with their cameras; however, it is those times of random laughs, life talks, and dance sessions that cannot be captured on camera that make the best of memories. Just a couple days ago, we had the first campfire of the year that began at seven o’clock and did not end until midnight. The evening was filled with s’mores, country music, star gazing, and reminiscing on the greatest of times throughout this year. Those are the times you cannot picture or replace – the times that remind you of why God put you with the friends you have.

“Develop from the negatives.” Life throws curve balls at everyone including: adults, toddlers, sisters, brothers, the wealthy, the poor, the famous, and the most faithful of people. There is one thing that sets people apart from the crowd – the way they react to those curve balls. Negative times can and will happen to all of us, but will we stay knocked down and paralyzed or will we rise up and climb even taller than before we fell? This year some of our negatives may have ranged from being homesick, needing help with our car, to just needing caffeine; however, the best part of these negatives is we learned how to create these situations into some of the best times of our lives. When we are homesick we get a hug from a teammate and call our family to hear how they are doing. After some of us getting our car fixed, they would go get ice cream with a teammate to relieve the stress. And when we are tired, we get a Kickstart and jam out to music while having a sing-off with our teammate in the passenger seat. This year has made all of us grow as individuals and grow together in the good and the bad times.

“And if things don’t work out, take another shot.” Sometimes plans do not work as they are supposed to, but that is when the best things happen and true colors shine. They say that if plans don’t go the way they should, do not change the goal but change the plan instead. During the highs and lows of this year plans have not always worked out, but I always knew I had six special people that have always had my back. I remember that when I would try to memorize a speech and would just want to quit because it was challenging, the couple teammates I was practicing with would tell me to try again…..and again….and sometimes again. It is special to have those people who believe you can do anything if you only try. That is something everyone has in common. Trust me if you try and truly try, you can succeed if you have a support system and do not give up easily. To my teammates (a.k.a my support system) thank you for not letting me settle for less, but always pushing me while showing me how much you all truly care.

Our team lives by quotes and has read thousands of quotes throughout this year; however, in my eyes I believe we are creating our own quote. We are leaving a mark on this association, the members, our friends, and each other. Not only are we leaving a mark, but so many other people have left their mark on us as well. As I said earlier, members of Indiana FFA are nearest and dearest to all of our hearts and those we have come in contact with have truly impacted us in the most positive way possible. Thank you to the members, state staff, and family who have never given up on us and who have helped us capture those good times in our memory. The heart will always show you the right direction to travel if you just trust it and enjoy the ride, remembering to focus on what’s important and to capture all those good times.
Forever Blessed,
Dakota Westphal
2014-2015 Indiana FFA State Reporter

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