Pioneering Your Life

We are nearing the end of the month of August, which means most of us are lingering between letting go and letting begin. We say our goodbyes to hot summer days and welcome the cool crisp days of fall. For many of us, we dig out our backbags and books and head back to school. For those not in school, it is simply a continuation of life's routine, the changing of seasons marking another phase.

Wherever each of us falls in this cycle of life, this month is a chance for us to start fresh, to become pioneers of new beginnings. I am personally standing on the edge of a new chapter in life. Today marked my first official days of classes. I am pursuing a Master's Degree in Journalism from the University of Alabama. I am in a new apartment, a new city, and in a whole new environment. I have been out of school for 2 years so it feels a little strange to use these muscles again. However, as chaotic and confusing as life changes can be, I want to make this a fresh start, a chance to pioneer a new beginning.

I encourage everyone this month to think about pioneers they admire and model the efforts of these respectable men and women. My pioneers include both famous figures and people in my own life. Some historical pioneers I admire are Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Walt Whitman. I admire King for his pursuit of justice and peace against odds that simply seemed unsurmountable to many of his time. I value the ideas of Emerson and Whitman, who pioneered new ways of exploring the meaning of life and the merit in democracy.

I also value the pioneers in my own life such as my parents and grandparents. They are not famous historical figures but they serve as role models for me in their love and persistance in pursuing all fields of life. It is these pioneers that serve as beacons of light everytime I face a new challenge or phase in life. As the leaves of fall begin to flutter to the ground, I challenge everyone to think of the pioneers you admire and forge ahead with your own fresh start.

"Find life experiences and swallow them whole. Travel. Meet many people. Go down some dead ends and explore dark alleys. Try everything. Exhaust yourself in the glorious pursuit of life."
– Lawrence K. Fish

Katie Turpen

August 2010

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