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Voices of ACES Blog


Maggie Sweppy and a group of friends at a table after eating dinner

Not to sound like a hypocrite, but instead of going on and on about how important it is to constantly embrace change and adopt a growth mindset (like I have been known to do) today I want to talk our remembering our roots.

I say this because I was recently reminded of mine. Not too long ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Denver for the National Western Stock Show with some of my friends from Lake Land College. Unfortunately, not all of us could attend, but I still feel blessed that most of us were together at the same place at the same time. During this trip, I got to catch up with people who are dear to my heart. These people were there for me as I grew from a shy small-town girl into someone bolder, more courageous, and much more self-aware. They were active parts of my journey.

Even though we remain in contact, we aren’t all quite as close as we tearfully promised on those last few days at Lake Land. This is natural and nobody’s fault. We have all embarked on our own separate journeys and our paths have changed. Some still run on parallel courses, others in completely different directions. Yet, due to the tenacity of a few particular members of our friend group, we were able to plan this trip and I am so thankful that they made it happen.

I’ll admit, we didn’t all get along perfectly. But we consider each other family, and what family does? Regardless, it was abundantly clear to me that even though at our core we all still have the same genuine affection for each-other, we have each grown, some more than others, and many of us are very different people. I think this is good. Change is good.

I had an amazing time catching up with people who are so important to me, but I expected that. What I didn’t expect was the profound insight I gained about myself just by being around “old” friends.

No matter far we travel on this “journey called life” (<cheesy right?) or how much we’ve changed, there is value in stopping to take a glance back. Yas, I promise its okay to hit pause. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should stop indefinitely and I’m certainly not suggesting that you pull over and park, endlessly reminiscing about the “good old days,”(we are all way too young for that, even you grandma) but there is no denying the powerful kind of self-reflection that comes from “smelling the roses.” Not to mention, it’s pretty relaxing.

And with that, I’ve finally arrived at my point. It’s healthy to visit the “good old days,” but never forget, there are many more “good new days” ahead of you, and it’s way more exciting to live in the moment than be stuck in the past. So when you pull over and park, leave the car running. There’s a lot of road left.