Kate Carlin, Managing Editor

Kate Carlin, Managing Editor

What do you want to be when you grow up?

At age one, two, and three, well, I couldn’t talk, I guess it was better that way.

At age four, I wanted to be a princess AND a cowgirl.

At age five, I wanted to be a veterinarian.

Ages six to eight, Olympics.

Ages nine to twelve, a raver.

Ages twelve to sixteen, famous.

It changes every single year, every single day, it even feels like every single minute.

I walked into this place, this school, as a zero, I came out a sort of hero.

A tragic one.

I slept here, I showered here, I have had some of the most important moments here…

I peaked here.

And that sucks.

Everyone knows it, nobody says it, but everyone feels it.

I, Kate Carlin, peaked in high school.

And, well, that sucks.

Every single day is a presentation, to makes the cogs in the student body work, to grease the wheels of the heart, brain, and body, to enroll our students in the excellence that is our small town.

Have you ever come to school happy just to be happy? Have you ever had to smile through all of the tears that your life prevails? Have you ever had to tell your friends “it was nothing,” “I overreacted,” “it wasn’t that bad” because you know that if you opened your mouth that the consequences would spill all over you like those terrible foam cups at truck stops?

Have you ever avoided people by being the loudest and most obnoxious person possible; have you ever just wanted to get to close to people just so they could run away? Just so they never have to see you? Just so that you can be hated in your own right and nobody else can replace you?

Have you ever seen me out with people with the exception of a school function?

Have you ever just known that you’re a teenage dirtbag?

That’s what I thought.

I grew up wanting to be alone, and now I’m here, alone. I’m here alone and nothing can help it now, not boys and girls of the world, not the internet and not god. I made this happen. I made me alone. I made all of this fall apart and who is to be blame?

Me.

I don’t want to be remembered, I don’t want things pasted on the wall about me and I don’t want people saying that they were my best friends because they obviously never talked to me until I got the ball rolling, and after they take that ball and go play with their other friends with it.

I am going to leave, to just be forgotten and only revived in photos, in the memories, in the thoughts.

I tried to be remembered once, I got as many medals as I could, tried to break records, tried to be the person I wanted to be and that is everybody’s favorite.

Do you know how heartbreaking it is whenever you tell a kid that they will never grow up what they want to be?

This is something I learned for myself.

The people I want to acknowledge is teachers. Obviously there are ones that pushed me and loved me and loved me with every grace under the sun.

But I want to thank the ones that looked behind everything and saw the light, that didn’t tell me to stop crying or shut up but the ones who just let me be quiet for once, for the ones that never patronized me or tell me to stop crossing lines or the teachers that told me to quit it.

The teachers that let me figure out my own boundaries, strengths, weaknesses, and stamina are the ones I want to thank, and there are too many of you to count.

I would like to thank the teachers who let me ask “why?”, and they simply didn’t know the answer either. I would like to thank the teachers who provoked thought and who never put me down because of my curiosity, who never put the label of “loud and crazy” on me.

I like the teachers who constructed me, and didn’t criticize. Thank you.

I would like to thank the very few people who took me seriously. I would like to thank the people who didn’t ever listen to what other people said or thought, and I would like to thank the people who I would do anything for, even if they wouldn’t do anything back for me.

Thank you for thinking I had something that I obviously didn’t have. Thank you for faking our friendship and thank you for not leaving whenever the times got somewhat tough, and I’m sorry for all of the times you did leave and I’m sorry for the times I did; you never deserved that. Thanks for pretending to be a family to me.

I want to thank Cane’s for feeding me 85% of the time these past four years.

I love your chicken.

And I would like to thank myself.

Because I never knew you could do it.

I may not have a college picked out or a job waiting for me or anything really going for me at this point. But all I know is that one day I will end up okay. That I may not be princess, I may not be a cowboy or a race car driver or a sports announcer or an Olympian or a doctor or a millionaire or someone who makes her parents proud, but I will be me, and I will finally be me. And I will never have to hide behind this façade high school has given me ever again.

I decided that when I grow up, I want to be happy.