Thursday, May 29, 2014

Daryl Simmons delivers State Reporter's retiring address

Daryl Simmons
2013-14 Reporter
Minneapolis FFA

"Rock Your World"

In high school, I had the opportunity to take a guitar class in school and ever since then my world has been ROCKING! I remember going home and looking up how to play different songs on YouTube. One of the first ones I learned was what I just played, Hit Me with Your Best Shot by Pat Benetar. The look on my classmates face's when I played that in class was that of totally impressed. Little did they know that this riff is incredibly easy to play and took very little practice. Since then I've learned significantly harder songs but not without putting in the time and practice. Every song I can now play helps me to rock my world.

Part of rocking my world consists of having time for myself, finding the silver lining in any situation, and appreciating the journey I have. Whenever I say my world is rocking, I automatically think of AC/DC's song Thunderstruck. Upbeat, fast paced, exciting music. However part of rocking my world is taking time for myself and that song doesn't always fit the activity. One way I take time for myself is by keeping myself in shape so when I go for a run I usually listen to harder rock and metal to keep me going at a good pace, oftentimes the group Avenged Sevenfold. However, if I'm working out by taking a bike ride through a wooded area, I'll listen to softer music such as Enya or even classical music to give a majestic type feeling to the moment. Another way I take time for myself is by being out in the country down a dirt road just enjoying the fresh air. This is when the genres country and red dirt come out. For me that's a pretty obvious fit for being out in the country. One major way I take time for myself is by playing guitar. The majority of what I'll play is classic rock and blues. Classic rock is what pumps me up and gets me excited and ready to take on the world. Songs such as Takin' Care of Business by Bachmann Turner Overdrive, and Johnny Be Good by Chuck Berry really get me going. Blues is what I turn to when I'm extremely stressed, such as last year when I was conflicted about my option to either continue livestock judging with an amazing team or to run for state FFA office. I spent many hours overall listening and playing blues because of the amount of emotion it conveys. It's pretty easy to see that music is a big component of the time that I set aside for myself. Of course I listen to music while doing other activities but everything I've talked about is specific time that I deliberately set aside time for myself.

These activities shouldn't be "if we have time" activities but "we will plan time to do" activities. This helps us clear our minds so that we can better work on other important tasks. Not only will we be more productive but probably more pleasant to be around. This is just how I personally take time for myself. Do you know how you best take time for yourself? Maybe you're like some people I know who go out and work so as to productive and have a sense of accomplishment. Others read a book to escape into a different world. Perhaps you enjoy writing poetry and do that to take time for yourself. Maybe your way is to clean your room, I know my mom wishes that was the case for me. In my mind little is more important for personnel well-being than figuring out how you take time for yourself and taking time to do just that. Step one to rocking your world, take time for yourself. With how much I've been talking about music you might think that my world is always rocking. That isn't so. I'd like to tell you about a time in my life when the music in my head really didn't play.

March 17th, 2010. I was driving my truck to my first baseball practice of the season. I didn't make it far. A tire blew out on my truck. Before I could react much my truck was on its side against a couple of trees in a creek bottom. It had crumpled around me and I couldn't get out. Luckily my dad was able to find me and call for help. It took about two hours to cut me out of that truck. Luckily the only real injury I got was a torn ligament in my shoulder. If I had landed a foot north or south of where I did my head would probably have stopped right on a tree and in no scenario does that end well. Overall I was extremely lucky to get out in the condition I did. Obviously this was not a good situation but I am still able to locate a couple of silver linings among all the negatives. The first and biggest silver lining is that I'm now a stronger believer in my faith. I truly believe that if it weren't for a higher being I wouldn't be here today or at least not in this good of shape. Another silver lining is my appreciation for seat belts. I completely understand why they are promoted as life savers and can personally attest to that. One final silver lining came one month later when I got a new vehicle. I went from getting around 15 miles per gallon to about 25 miles per gallon so not having to pay for as much gas was amazing. This particular situation had a lot of negatives: ruining my beloved first truck, getting an injury that will probably affect me for a lifetime, and scaring my family are just a few. It was a decision to move past those and find what there is to be happy about, the silver linings. This is something that is good to do regardless of the situation. Emotionally this makes one an extremely positive person and optimistic about the future. With the silver lining in mind we have the ability to share our happiness with others and aid in their happiness.

Regardless of the situation you are put in find the silver lining, find the good. Don't waste time dwelling on the negatives. This only leads to a pessimistic, depressed state of thinking. Stay positive and go forth with a positive attitude. Share your happiness with others who fail to find the good in a situation. You can always find a positive if you look. Sometimes it is hard to find but don't give up looking. How will you overcome the negatives and remain positive by finding the silver linings?

Step two in rocking your world, find the silver lining. While taking time for yourself and finding the silver lining are extremely important, one equally important point comes to mind. Appreciate the journey. I've realized everything involves a journey and it's important to appreciate it. Take my guitar for example. How in the world could one decide to build an electric guitar that looks like a heifer? It took me over a year and hundreds of hours to build however the journey behind it goes back way farther. My passion for woodworking comes from my dad and spending time in his wood shop. Woodworking became my first project in 4-H at a young age and every project made me want to do something more precise. Over the years I've learned to make exact measurements that a guitar requires. I first got involved with music in 5th grade band. I stuck with it and took a guitar class come high school. My passion for music coupled with my love of woodworking inspired me to build a guitar. Showing cattle taught me a lot over my many years in the ring and was a project I knew took constant commitment to care for livestock. This lifestyle matched with my want to be different and provoked the idea of shaping the guitar like a heifer. I can trace that journey all the way back to my first year of 4-H when I enrolled in the woodworking project. All of these seemingly unrelated journeys in my life all came together to create this guitar which I am extremely proud of and can cherish for the rest of my life. Truly this guitar is a tribute showing my appreciation for all of those journeys. Yes it is a conversation starter and a showpiece of sorts but I see it as a way to bundle together so much of my youth. Many parts of my life to this point had an influence on this guitar. We may not realize it right now but every little moment of the journey can be a great lesson that can aid you in the future and it's important to appreciate that fact. Some of the lessons we may not understand for a couple years but as soon as they make sense and sink in, take time to truly appreciate them. We should all realize that everything we do in our lives does have meaning. Many people just think about growing up and getting their dream job. They don't think about the journey it takes to get there and by accident let a lot of time slip by.

Whether your current trip is working towards a goal or literally traveling make sure you enjoy the journey. I was once told that whatever you're doing in the moment, do it to the best of your ability because that moment will soon be gone. So if you're chasing a dream or goal give it your all so as it achieve it. If you're trying to beat your school's track record, run every race as if it is the one. Even something as simple as walking your dog applies. Walk your dog as if this is the best walk you and Scooby-Doo will ever have. It's all part of the journey whether you realize it or not. Oftentimes the journey is the biggest part of the trip so take a bit of time and appreciate it. Appreciating the journey is the final step to rocking your world. Looking back over my life to this point it has been rocking. My question to you is can you say the same? Do you take time for yourself? Can you find the silver lining? Are you appreciating the journey? I have faith that every one of you can do just that and I challenge you to make it so. Kansas FFA ROCK YOUR WORLD!!!

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