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Posts Tagged ‘time’

The night may be over, but the future has just begun to unfurl.

Barack Obama defeated John McCain for presidency, making history in the progress. Obama succeeded in becoming the first bi-racial president. Some say he’s a socialist; others say he’s hope.

Either way, this country will face a much-needed change. Whether that be for the better or worse, well, that’s a matter of opinion.

I believe it’s safe to say, at least, America is ready for something different. Hopefully, we can all agree on that.

The next few years will undoubtedly be rough; it’s not easy to fix a crappy economy, nor will it be easy to pull out of Iraq… eventually. Both matters are very complicated, complex ideas I know very little about (besides the fact both are not where they should be).

It is my sincerest hope that the new President Obama (I seriously have to get used to that.. wow) will make decisions based on the Constitution and decisions that will be good for America. I hope his education will make up for his lack of experience, and I hope that no harm will come his way. I hope that, if he chooses to take America in a new direction, we the people will be able to put our trust in him, while maintaining our own personal virtues and standards of living.

Not only will America as a whole have some kind of change in the upcoming year(s), but on a more local scale, University of Tennessee football will, too.

On Monday, the legendary Phil Fulmer stepped down from his position as head coach of the UT football program. Fulmer, who had been the coach for 17 years (I was two when he accepted the position) led the team to several bowl games, won two Southeastern Conference championships and led the 1998 team to a national title.

Oh yes, UT football also spawned Peyton Manning, who was also under Fulmer’s wing at UT and is now quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts.

This season, though, UT football has only claimed a handful of wins and may not be eligible for a bowl game, which requires at least six wins in the season.

If all the above is gibberish for you or like German is to me, let me translate: The Vols haven’t had a decent season in a while, so the coach is gone and now the powers that be are looking for a new one.

The end of an era arrived, causing mixed feelings among students. Some are glad he’s gone, allowing for someone with fresh ideas to step in, and others are sad to see such a talented coach leave. For some students, like myself, he’s the only coach we’ve ever known, and the unknown is scary.

Let’s juxtapose these two situations, seeing how it’s coincidental to me that they both happened in such a close time proximity to each other.

Some students are glad Fulmer is leaving, allowing for someone new with fresh ideas and game plans to step into his shoes. Some Americans are happy Bush is no longer in power (well, not officially until January when Obama is sworn in, but work with me), allowing someone new to step in… and in Obama’s case… with fresh ideas for the country.

Some students mourn Fulmer’s resignation, sad to see him leaving us with the future of UT football unknown. Some Americans are sad to see McCain lose to Obama, with the future of America somewhat unknown and potentially frightening (some would say. I want to remain as unbiased as possible).

Either way, “The times, they are a changin’,” and we’re left here to deal with it in our own ways. We have some decisions to make. We could… cry like babies that McCain lost and whine the next four years about it, or take it like mature adults and roll with the punches, or celebrate someone new coming into office that may not be as bad as some anticipated he would be.

We should all try to have good attitudes about it, hold our heads high, and accept whatever comes our way with the patriotism our forefathers would’ve wanted (and, for UT students and fans everywhere, look forward to some better seasons in the future). Like I’ve said before, change and time are in cahoots with each other. You can’t have one without the other, no matter how bad it gets.

Let’s move forward together, hand-in-hand, and face what awaits us united.

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Time. It changes things, and change reflects time’s nature.

This weekend brought many thoughts to the forefront of my mind… for some reason when family comes to visit it just happens.

I left the snug room in the apartment I share with Brandon and Steph last Thursday to drive home to Wartburg for the 4th of July holiday. Mom told me previously that she remodeled my butterfly covered bright blue bedroom, so it was no surprise to me when I came home and saw that it was now a neutral brown, black and teal colored room with a futon instead of my bed inside. It was expected.

I’ve had many changes in my life. I’ve had my ups, downs and breakdowns alongside moments of triumph.

And for some reason, great weeks are always followed by something looming… by utterly crappy emotions, experiences and moments that build character.

Right now, my character is treading a sea filled with tears. I am an emotional being.

Last week was amazing; I’ll just be honest. I worked out everyday, ate amazingly healthy even for me, and I even went shopping at Gap (c’mon, the sales are irresistible). Two nights ended in conversations with Lance lasting more than 30 minutes, the weather was perfect and it was a short week: July 4th fell on a Friday.

Plus, I saw numerous relatives that stayed at the house all weekend from Ohio.

It was nearly perfect. I was home, seeing family, on a very extended weekend.

But all good things come to an end.

An indescribable feeling of emptiness surrounds me when a full house suddenly decreases to three people in a matter of moments. Watching them drive away was like being punched in the gut and I realized… the perfect weekend was over, and I, too, would soon return to my work-filled routine.

In an attempt to bring back the feelings that once were only a matter of hours ago, I walked outside onto the lone porch and into the empty yard. I picked up the corn bags and started practicing my corn hole techniques, then moved on to ladder golf once my arms were sore. My parents came out to relax, and Dad and I played a few rounds of ladder golf. But something besides the laughter and babies, someone without imposable thumbs, was missing.

Peanut.

I remember when I first laid eyes on that dog. It was a chilly November night, and Lance and I had just left church and pulled in the driveway when something small and white in the headlights caught my attention.

At first, I thought it was a rabbit, but then after looking closer I realized it was a very skittish mix of Jack Russell Terrier and something else. He was only a pup and skinny as a rail. You could count the ribs on him.

My heart melted right away, and after countless attempts to pet him, Lance and I finally coaxed him to get close to us with some leftover fries. Dad at first wanted to pay him no attention, hoping he would go back home, if he had one at all. Mom had a way, though, and Dad too warmed up to him and eventually built a doghouse complete with carpet and heat for colder nights.

We named him Peanut for two reasons:

  1. He peed a lot
  2. He was hyper, like a nut. No other name suited him better…

Mom saw him first. He was under the back porch by a bush. Normally he would be roaming around the back yard sniffing his territory with Fido, our aging Chihuahua. Something about Peanut wasn’t right… Dad had to pull him out from his spot and immediately we knew a vet must intervene.

We drove over to Karns and waited to see the vet. He was puny; didn’t move hardly at all… peaceful, almost.

Tests were run and everything checked out O.K. We paid the bill and went on our way, thinking he would recover after some prescribed medication.

Apparently, we were wrong.

A pet’s death never comes easily, no matter how long he or she is with you. We grow attached, play with them and either congratulate or regurgitate at the sight of a prized trophy on the back doorstep. We yell when they run out into the road and comfort them when they’re afraid of thunderstorms. We love them unconditionally, and they love us back. They learn from us, and we learn from them.

It’s been over one year since I gave my valedictory at graduation. I wish I’d kept it; it kicked butt, basically. It covered all the bases and summed up our years in the Morgan County School System pretty well: touch on getting screwed over multiple times, quickly change subject to how that helped us adapt to change, ending with learning to embrace our changes ahead in life, and I even sprinkled some song lyrics here and there.

Looking back now, I realize that speech was mostly meant for me. I knew I wasn’t ready to change my way of life; I knew I wasn’t really ready for everything I once knew to be stripped away in a matter of months (I once tried, unsuccessfully, to drown myself when I was 10 after my oldest brother graduated high school and two months later my grandma passed away. I was afraid of the future, the unknown). Once I thought I’d adapted to what had changed then, something else came along and signaled to me that I was growing up — my bedroom changed, I’m working more than relaxing during the summer, it’s hard to cope with a pet of only eight months dying.

It doesn’t help that I’m also gaining a year this Wednesday (July 16).

Change sucks. As Ben Folds once wrote in his song Still Fighting It,

“everybody knows it sucks to grow up, but everybody does…and let me tell you what, the years go on and we’re still fighting it…”

No matter how old we get, no matter how “seasoned” we are, will be, or ever were, it seems that change is the biggest challenge for each human being, for each soul. Time and change go hand-in-hand; they’re in cahoots with each other. They resemble Siamese twins joined at the hip and are inseparable. It’s inevitable.

“…And life’s like an hourglass glued to the table.”

Such haunting words, yet they fit now.

We can’t re-wind life. What’s happened has happened, and there’s no changing it. All we can do is roll with the punches, adapt, learn and move on. That’s time, that’s change and that’s life.

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