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  • Writer's pictureJayce

Lighting Lamps of Liberation

Updated: Oct 25, 2019

So, it’s been a minute. Have patience, or skip the first four paragraphs.

I’ve been getting my feet on the ground here in Starkville and loving every step of the way. There’s something about the spirit here that is charmed, and I doubt there’s a meteorology major who could figure out exactly what’s in the air to make this place so magical. Since I’ve written last, I’ve met ZZ Ward (look her up; you’re welcome) and seen her in concert with two of my absolute best friends. My best friends and I were the most vivacious ones in the room, and we were whipping and twirling and stomping and clapping in the very first row. To say the least, We love, love, loved it. Her music is featured on the playlist now.

I made my first visit home, reconnected with some old friends and saw the Bulldogs win their first game of the season. It was such an electric thing to be a part of such game, even though the Eagles played better than what I expected. Even more electric was the surprise party my family threw for my mom’s birthday. I won’t specify, but she celebrated a very special milestone birthday, and everything went off without a hitch. She was so surprised, and everyone knows how hard it can be to hide anything from a mom.

The past weekend was Bulldog Bash, and I got to watch my XAmbassadors in my Starkville. I’m being pretty possessive about Bulldog Bash, I know. Maybe they mixed up Mississippi and Missouri (Saying the wrong state at a concert is kind of like saying the wrong name on a date), but the performance was incredible. I got too excited, to nobody’s surprise, and cried when they came out and danced and shout-sang the whole show. I think my voice may be still trying to recover, actually. Maybe we lost the football game, but we definitely won the weekend.

So, if anyone was wondering, that’s what I’ve been up to–besides the six days in a gym and 5 a.m. runs and flashcards up to my eyeballs. I think I may have found the perfect fit in a Communication major, and I adore all of my classes. I found a new job, and I’m back in the saddle of working retail at Style Revel, a boutique that I am low-key obsessing over. I’ve only been there for a few days, but I’m loving it already. I digress. Again.

I was talking to my good friend the other night as I was thinking about what I would write about when I sat at my laptop to start. I reviewed all the good, and I considered my preparation for the upcoming pageant, and I actually got afraid. Not afraid of tripping and falling. Not afraid of stuttering. I got unreasonably afraid of if I actually did well. What if I reach people? What if people decide that they want to listen to me? Who am I? I feel so unworthy of all this luck, and that would top it off—probably overflow my Cup o’ Luck. I became overwhelmed with the possibility of reaching out. I felt the feeling that someone would feel as they look over the edge of a diving board. I’m so close to the edge of something so great and wonderful. All I have to do is take that leap of faith and know that I can swim. I can swim. I expressed my fears to him, and he gave me one of the greatest quotes that I’ve seen in a while. It calmed me, and I realized that we are to shine our light.

That, my friends, is what we were created to do. We were not created to dim our lights, but to shine them. We are to use our brightly glowing candles to light those of others. Our light will encourage others and promote greatness. A lot of the time, we are afraid of being great, not of being small. We live life in a small world, so we aren’t afraid to be “not good enough”. The media prepares us for failure. What we’re afraid of is being bigger than we ever imagined we could be. It is good to be humble, not to be belittled. If we all belittled ourselves, then who in this world would be left to make a difference? God has created us each with such a specific purpose; shying away from that purpose does nobody any favors.

In my own case, I’ve accepted that, even though it’s my goal, my purpose may not include a sparkly hat and sash. Maybe my purpose will be reached by reaching my full potential in the competition. Maybe my light is found in the journey. Maybe it will be reached with the people I encounter in the time leading up to, during, or after the competition. Even just preparing to be big, jumping off of the board with nothing held back, may inspire and lead someone. Having that kind of power is liberating. It’s freeing to have within us the power to be great. Who are we not to liberate someone else with our lights?

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