On February 8, 2016 my boss, my best friend, my mentor, and my role model took his own life. Of course we all ask, “What could I have done differently?” Why did this happen? We question our faith, we question ourselves, and we question the world.
Allen has been gone for 6 months now and I’d be lying if I said things weren’t different. I now have to fight the impulsive funny text to him or the impulsive text to ask about what to do for my future job, or to just ask if I could come down teach a class or just to visit.
Allen definitely left his mark on me in the few short years I knew him. I just finished a summer packed full of impacting the lives of 4th, 5th and 6th graders at 4-H Summer Camp at Rock Eagle 4-H Center. Allen served as a beacon of light for 4-H and everyone that knew him knew that he loved 4-H. This summer I served as the Lead Counselor (Head Mico) and Cloverleaf Adventure Program Lead Counselor (High Ropes) at Rock Eagle and Allen had served as the Sports and Recreation Lead Counselor just a few years before. I could most definitely feel his presence as I led my 57 counselors and thousands of kids that came to camp this summer. I always tried to leave the impact on my counselors and campers that he left on me.
As the new school year approaches and new opportunities present themselves, I always go back to a piece of advice that Allen had given me when I worked for him as a counselor at Fortson 4-H Center in 2012 and 2013. He lived by the motto of “You can sleep when you’re dead.” And he truly used every single minute of every single day to better himself, his job, and his workplace. He would go to sleep at midnight in his office and wake up at 4 am just in order to squeeze more hours and more work into his day.
I seem to find a lot of him in myself each day and continue to strive and push myself to be more like him. I’m going to use his motto to push myself to do new things and to get all the experience I can in an array of different areas such as officiating high school sports, nursing experiences, and even just traveling. During the summer I came up with a mantra/quote for my counselors to use to guide them throughout the summer.
I think Michael Jackson said it best “You are not alone, I am here with you, though we’re far apart, You’re always in my heart.”
I know that Allen will always be my guardian angel and he is up in Heaven right now cheering me on to do big things in life. I know that I can attribute some of my biggest accomplishments to him and his dedication to seeing me do great things.
To read Wilson’s first piece, please click here!
It’s been almost 6 years since I met the girl I fell in love with. And finally I’m writing about it.
I’ve been confused these past couple weeks. I’m lost. I get these waves of emotions. Some days I’ll be good and some days I’ll get this knot in my stomach. I start questioning everything. What could have I done differently? What could have I said differently?
I had no plans to have a girl best friend, nonetheless, fall in love with her. But it changed my life. Falling in love with your best friend is scary. You get so close to this person that you can’t see life without them. You need that person just like you need air. It’s like they’re a part of you. And I think that’s when you know you’re in love. When you realize they’re your other half.
I happened to be the one to do so. Head over heels. The whole nine yards. I think I fell in love with her because she was my best friend. Not because of her looks, but because of how powerful our trust was. I told her everything and vice versa.
We knew exactly what was going on in each other’s lives. But what was unique about us was that our brains were the same. Our thoughts, the way we acted, and the ways we talked were all identical. It was the weirdest/coolest thing. We could finish each other’s sentences. We already knew the answer to the questions before we even asked. We had some sort of telepathy, kind of like we had super powers.
It’s hard to tell your best friend that you’re in love with them. What happens if they don’t fall in love with you back? What if they just want to stay best friends? You’re putting a forever-lasting friendship at risk. In high school I wasn’t really a patient kid. If I wanted something, I had to of have had it right then and there. Why wait for something when you know what you want?
You see, she fell in love with the guy that didn’t give her the time of day, but would talk to her just enough to keep her in check. Like he wouldn’t really talk to her in person that much, but the minute he texted her it changed her whole day. It was the classic high school girl story. Falls in love with the a******, because the chase is a lot more fun than the good guy that’s just waiting for her.
He was smart. I was dumb. It’s weird being best friends with someone who knows you’re in love with them. I thought if I kept being her best friend that maybe she would eventually come around. For some reason I thought if we kept on getting closer then maybe she would realize. I think the opposite happened. The closer we got, the farther my chances got.
I think the only regret I have was that I never truly believed I could have her. I did everything for her. Got her soup when she was sick, gave her a ride whenever she needed one, etc. I was like a puppy—I would get so excited when she gave me attention. But in the midst of everything I did, I never told myself that I could actually get her. It was always “I’ll never get a chance” or “This is going nowhere”. And these past couple of years I’ve realized that if you can’t even believe you can get something then you never will get it. Not just with girls, but just whatever you want in life.
Some weeks we were good and some weeks we didn’t hear from each other. It’s like we would say to ourselves, “Welp this week we aren’t talking.” And then it became a game. Not officially, but we both knew it. Whoever caved to text first was the loser. But every time we would talk—she ended talking about her guy problems. I didn’t want any part of that. I think that was the worst part of everything. Hearing all her guy problems when there wouldn’t be any if she chose me. I was getting kicked while I was already down. I couldn’t deal with it.
I just wish she had perspective. That was the one thing that we never really were on the same page about. She’d always get mad when I didn’t want to talk to her, but she didn’t realize that in order for me to get over her I had to stop. It’s like a drug addict needing to go to rehab. In order to be sober you have to stop . . . She was my drug. And I kept coming back for a hit.
What I’m scared about—is my future. Do I think about her my whole life? Does it ever end? I compare her to the girls I talk to. How bad is that? I still think about what we could of been. More than I should. My body feels like something is missing. It just doesn’t feel right.
I still feel like we’ll find our way. When she’s mature. I know she’ll come to her senses one day. I’m just scared it might be too late.