Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Don’t Forget to Smile Along the Way

Growing up, some of the fondest memories I have come from the time I spent with my brother, Tyler. From running and jumping around the living room when we were younger with blankets wrapped around our necks pretending to be superheroes, to the evenings when we would play catch with a baseball or football in the yard and talk about anything and everything, we always seemed to enjoy those small moments we spent together. Upon moving into the State Officer house, I didn’t realize how much I was going to miss those moments that we shared together. The more I thought about how much I appreciated the time we spent together, the more I realized why I love those memories. And the reason is shockingly simple. In those moments we shared together, I realized we also shared the same ear-to-ear grins and endless laughing. It was the pure, unbridled happiness I experienced during these memories that cause them to be ones I will carry with me all throughout my life.
I would be lying if I said this realization didn’t come with its fair share of guilt and regret. For all of those good times we had together, there were some bad moments to accompany them. Maybe it was an argument in the barn on how a goat should be set up during a show, or possibly a joke that was taken too far (Thinking back, most of them may have actually been my fault). There were also the times where I was too absorbed in my own life to make those moments that Tyler and I spent together truly count. It was in those times where my own pride, stubbornness, and selfishness got in the way that I missed those opportunities to smile, be happy, and create those memories that I love. Now that I have moved out of the house there are a lot less chances to even be in a place to make those memories. It hurts to know I’ve lost that.
So, smile, laugh, and find happiness in those moments you create. For me, I am going to do just that in the time I spend with my brother from now on. For the rest of us it may be a brother, sister, family member, a friend, or even a stranger that we decide to create those memories of happiness with. Regardless of who it is, we are given the ability to make the most of the situations we are put in and the relationships we are a part of. One step at a time, we can strive to create memories we love and cherish. At times we may get caught up in our own lives or it may seem like nothing can go right. Take a second to pause, reset, and spend time with someone who brings joy to your life and helps create those moments for you. Life goes on and we grow up, will you take the time to smile and find happiness along the way?

Forever grinning like a fool,

Blayne Vandeveer