Wednesday, October 27th, 2021

P Shopper Columns


It still seems strange to reflect on my high school graduation and acknowledge that five years have passed. I had no idea what my life would look like after receiving my diploma. I felt daunted by choosing what I wanted to do and be for the rest of my life, and I recognized the same uncertainty in many of my peers. Some people identify their calling at age five and never stray from it. Others are in college, still trying to figure out their career paths. In the end, I sought a position at an animal shelter and remain in that field today. I also pursue my love of writing and aspire to publish a novel. Sometimes our passions will not lead us into sustainable careers, and we must weigh the pros and cons of following a more unconventional path. Now that some time has passed, I can look back and recognize the significant experiences throughout my childhood that influenced where I am today.

I can look back
and recognize the significant experiences
 throughout my childhood
that influenced where I am today.

My passion for animals and animal rescue blossomed throughout my childhood. What began as a fundraiser for our local animal shelter turned into years of dedicated volunteering. I got my first look at what it meant to be a guardian of the forsaken, and I discovered a mission I feel blessed to fight for every day. Similarly, I began authoring short stories as soon as I learned how to write. I have always adored bringing worlds, characters, and adventures to life upon the page. I was a child in perpetual motion, spinning from one hobby to the next. Each experience shaped who I am today, and it was through these activities that I discovered the callings I felt most compelled to follow.

High school students sometimes struggle to dictate their future because they haven't yet had a chance to truly live. My experiences guided me through the decisions I've made and continue to make each day. Classes, camps, hobbies and other activities provide wonderful enrichment to a child's life, but their true value runs much deeper. Exposure to life experience prior to life choices can help us make more educated, confident decisions for our futures. Until we start, we can't know for sure that we have a true grasp of where we want to end. Sometimes our journeys reach a different conclusion than we thought they would when they began. We are never too old to discover a passion our heart feels called upon to answer. In the face of infinite possible directions, moving forward is easiest with an open heart and open mind. We never know where a single day might take us, or which days we will later look back on as the building blocks that shaped the happiness we find along the way.

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.