Posted at 2:30 p.m., Dec. 8, 2015

Reminiscing, looking forward

While pressing ahead toward our dreams, often we look back at what was, how we got here

Daniel Martinez

When we were kids:

A neighborhood landmark, this creek was known for its flooding in the spring, crawdads in the summer and ice thick enough to skate on in the winter.

Looking back after all these years, it’s kind of fun to reminisce about the good times I had, especially in elementary school. Those are the years I had my first good friends, a time when we’d ride around the neighborhood on our bikes, walking the thin line between looking for trouble and contemplating if it was worth the wrath of the belt.

Most of my friends from the few elementary schools I went to are out in the world doing their own thing. Some enlisted in the Marine Corps, one is on his way to becoming a business owner, another is a firefighter—and then there’s me.

I’ve been told time and again, “You can’t beat yourself up” for that; don’t compare yourself with others. But I think a little competition never hurt anyone. Really, who has never compared themselves with someone with the same background? We all get 24 hours a day.

Five years after high school (wow, five years?), I can honestly say I haven’t done anything amazing with my time. I’ve worked a job here and there and gained skills in a few different areas, but up until my time as co-editor, I didn’t have a passion.My passion for writing as I grew up was eclipsed by my growing interest in the world around me and what people thought of me. My childhood passion for reading was put on the shelf and replaced with partying on weekends.

I’m probably the slowest learner I know of and there’s no excuse that can measure up to confidently explain why I’ve fallen short of my goals—but my resolve is stronger than ever before.

It may have been five years since I graduated high school and sure, I could have a bachelor’s degree by now and maybe a million in the bank, but my choices stifled my progress, leaving me with the only choice I now have—keep fighting.

Once in a great while, I drive by my childhood neighborhood. I don’t bring a bike to ride around my old stomping grounds; I sit there, reflecting. I think of a time when everything was care-free and the only problems I had were the bad choices I learned from with the help of my parents and a few memorable spankings.

I hold tight to my childhood for what it is, a memory. But I push forward to make those milestones more special with what I have yet to achieve.

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