By Allison Owen In the past week or so I've been reminded of just how important some things are in my life. I have a few friends who have lost a loved one recently, and one of my late friend's 19th birthday would have been this past Saturday. A loss is tough at anytime, but it gets really tough during the holiday season when we must face these special times without someone we care about.
Because of such losses, I'm reminded to hold those close to me even closer. I try to cherish all the time I have with my loved ones, because we never know when someone might be taken from us. I've been truly blessed to know some amazing people and meet even more each day. But sometimes these people leave just as quickly as they came. We cannot control things such as accidents or age, but we can control how we treat people or choose to act to certain people. It is imperative that we always tell people how we feel, because if we don't he or she may never know. Almost every single day I wish I had said something to my friend Whitney, just something to let her know how special she was to me. I miss her on some days more than others, but I also try not to dwell on a "should have" or "could have" moment. She would not have wanted me to do that. In this holiday season I'm going to try to remember the things I've been taught by those I hold dear -- even those who are no longer here. On an unrelated note, I've also been asked a lot recently why I made the decision I did for the 2006 season. Sometimes people assume they know why I did something, but they really have no idea. While I can't quite put my finger on it, something inside simply wouldn't allow me to continue to let my dream just gather dust on the shelf. In the past two years I've often questioned myself and my abilities, but I've come to realize that nothing will happen if I just set my ambitions aside. As I've said before I really enjoy quotes, and one I've heard for a long time is "Live each day like it's your last." I'm trying not to take anything for granted and live my life to its fullest. We don't know what each day has in store for us, so we must fully embrace each day and live it to the best we possibly can. This has been short, but hopefully something I've said will inspire you into some kind of action. Next time you hesitate to tell someone how you feel about them or make a decision, just do it. It's better to take the chance and suffer whatever consequences come from it, than to just sit around and let these feelings or dreams gather dust. You never know what could happen. Allison Owen, 17, is a senior at Sullivan Central High School in Blountville, Tenn. She was assistant conductor at Southwind, and she enjoys dancing, performing, color guard, writing, English, and having fun. She plans on attending Western Carolina University next fall.. High Release archives