I'm 17 years old. I'm not a straight-A student or anything. Even so, I figured out how to make an Internet that they can't wiretap. I figured out how to jam their person-tracking technology. I can turn innocent people into suspects and turn guilty people into innocents in their eyes. I could get metal onto an airplane or beat a no-fly list. I figured this stuff out by looking at the web and by thinking about it. If I can do it, terrorists can do it. They told us they took away our freedom to make us safe. Do you feel safe?
I did a lot of theater in college, and I knew that not many people make it, but I just figured, 'Well, I really want to try acting while I'm young, and I don't ever want to look back and say that I never gave it a try.' I fully figured I'd be back in grad school - probably for psychology.
I was fuzzy on the details, but I knew the basic outline. I knew how I wanted to be, it was simply a question of being who I wanted to be.I thought I had had it all figured out before. I'd had the plan perfectly clear in my head. I wasn't going to cross into thirty without the triple crown in hand: serious boyfriend, career, and great friends..It was time to accept that maybe, just maybe, I didn't have to have it all figured out by the time I turned thirty. Maybe I could just work on me, and see what else fell into place.I was pretty sure that was otherwise known as living.
Daddy didn't say anything for a minute or so, and then he reached up and caught a firefly as it glowed beside him. 'See this light?' he asked me when the firefly lit up his hand. 'Yes'r.' 'That light is bright enough to light up a little speck of the night sky so a man can see it a ways away. That's what God expects us to do. We're to be lights in the dark, cold days that are this world. Like fireflies in December.' 'Time meandered on without Gemma's momma and daddy, and it meandered on without Cy fuller and Walt Blevins... but those of us left behind viewed life more dearly, felt it more keenly. I'd learned a bit more about God and I'd seen His powerful hands at work. As I was growing, my heart was changing. And the way I figured it, there were lessons learned in those dark days that would help me for years to come.' 'As I sat on the porch on that December day... I leaned my head against the rail and sighed deeply. The way I figured it just then, my summer may have been full of bad luck, but my life wasn't. I figured as far as family went, I was one of the luckiest girls alive.
Jennifer Erin Valent