Saturday, December 4th, 2021

P Shopper Columns


A Vision of Youth was first published seven years ago in October of 2011. Seven years- that's a third of my lifetime! The original installment, "Step Into My Shoes," reflected on the discord between authority figures and teenagers, as well as finding mutual respect in what can be a difficult period of one's life. The November article, "All That Racket," talked about music's power to change and inspire people. December's "A Small Difference" was about picking up trash and respecting our planet, and January's "When is "The Right Time?'" mused on the obstacles preventing us from doing the things we dream about, and how to overcome them. Over the next seven years, I went on to write eighty-three articles, each with a message meant to engage and inspire its audience.

...readers, thinkers, friends,
let's continue to face this world
with love, positivity and youth.

A Vision of Youth was so titled because I was quite young when I began sharing my visions. I was a fourteen-year-old girl who loved to write and aspired to reflect on things that mattered. My mother and grandmother have both recently joked that, having reached adult age, A Vision of Youth might not be so applicable anymore. Still, I wonder if the title doesn't remain somewhat appropriate. The definition of youth is not only "the period between childhood and adult age," but "the quality or state of being youthful." Youthfulness is described as having "vitality, freshness, and the qualities of young people;" qualities like enthusiasm, vigor, optimism, open-mindedness, and capacity for forgiveness. Looking back, it seems these traits are what I've been writing about all along. Age is not something we can fight, control, or defeat, but a youthful mindset is something we can hold in our heart and spirit forever.

This platform has been an immense blessing. My sincerest gratitude goes to my grandmother, for building such an incredible business and family, and for giving me a place in it; to my mother, for being an unwavering coach and editor for every piece and every day; and to my father, for the countless suggestions he has also provided. And an extra special thank you to all of my readers. Since I can't know how many of you there are, sometimes this feels like nothing more than thinking out loud. But having heard your heartwarming and brilliantly kind messages, I know you're out there. I prefer to believe there are a lot of us, thinking together. So, readers, thinkers, friends, let's continue to face this world with love, positivity and youth.

Breonna Loxley is an animal care technician at an animal shelter. She is an avid artist, writer, and animal-lover. She lives with her parents, a younger brother, two cats, and one dog.