by John on November 13, 2010

I don’t know what prompted me to start waxing poetic on the year 1989. Maybe it was some random tune that I heard today on the radio, but it got me thinking about being seventeen.

Seventeen was when I went to Europe for the first time. It’s when I fell in love with Paris. Stumbling through the Louvre and the Pompidou I saw the masterpieces that shook me to my core. I realized that I was witnessing something special, but didn’t quite know how to truly take it all in and enjoy it. I also realized that I was truly lucky for the opportunity to be there even if it was only for a few short days.

Seventeen was when I also visited Washington D.C for the first time; participating in a class trip that showed us the hallowed halls of power, the quiet sanctity of the Vietnam Wall, and the majesty of the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials.
Seventeen was when I witnessed Tiananmen Square and the Berlin Wall fall on television and when I truly started to pay attention to the struggles around the globe

Seventeen was also the year that I wasted. Wasted it worrying about being a senior in high school, wasted worrying about what other people thought about me. I lost friends, gained friends and thought that I would live forever.

Twenty one years have passed. I loved, lost, buried friends who I cared deeply about and became a father. I can’t go back, nor would I do anything differently.

I’ve been blessed over the years with new struggles and challenges. In a few short weeks, I’ll have a newborn baby girl. I want them to grow up with the same sense of awe and wonder that I had growing up and if I ever forget it, I’ll think back to that cold night in February when I was alone staring up at the statue of Jefferson when I promised myself to never forget what it felt like to look up and realize that we all have a responsibility to remember our past, love unconditionally, and make a difference everyday.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: