It was one of the best weeks of my life....and one of the hardest. I feel like a success....and a failure. I feel like I did my best to glorify God....but that I also let pride have too much control. I'm excited to move on to college....but I'm really going to miss this people. What a roller coaster ride. And what an incredible journey it's been in speech and debate.
Being able to compete in Region 3 has honestly been one of the best experiences of my life. I've met many people and have rekindled friendships from the past, and I've grown so much through competing in Team Policy this year. Josh and I had our last debate round ever (more on that later) and I still can't quite bring myself to unpack the debate box, recycle the evidence, and put the flow pads back on the shelf. I know God had a reason for us not making it to nationals, but the hardest part for me is knowing that it's over...forever. No more great clashes of arguments, topicality presses, power-matching speculation, or anticipation while waiting for breaks to be announced. That ship has dropped me off on the shore and sailed off without me.
As hard as saying goodbye to debate was, saying goodbye to friends was harder. I'm thankful to be able to attend nationals with some, but most will not be there. Instead of seeing each other once a month, it could be many months or years before I see many of these people again... I might not ever see some of them again.
At the ballot party, I was talking with one of my good friends about how much it sucks to be a senior and to know this was my last Regionals. He said, "I never say goodbye to anything. I just say hello. Saying goodbye is too hard." That is so much easier said than done, but those are some of the wisest words I've ever heard. Hello college. Hello adulthood. Hello Andrew the alumni judge. Hello stronger friendships. Because I thank God the end of my speech and debate career doesn't mean the end of the fellowship with the people I've met.