Dear Jesse & Dakota

A few days ago I found myself in a familiar situation. It was Sunday night and my family was wrapping up dinner. Dakota was reluctantly heating up some store bought queso (he’s only allowed Moes once a week), Jesse was going on about how much healthier his diet was (as he threw down his third chocolate covered pomegranate serving of the night), and I was yelling, “Let the boys play” as the two of them nearly came to blows with each other. In that moment, I realized I’ll be gone next year. In 6 months I’ll have graduated from high school and these family dinners.

My brothers and I have always been close, and although Jesse and Dakota are sometimes the bane of my existence, I still love them more than anything else in the world. It has become painstakingly clear that next August they’ll start high school, without me. So Jesse and Dakota, if I am halfway across the country a year from now, pull up this post, sit down with some queso (or chocolate covered pomegranates), and enjoy.

Dear Jesse and Dakota,

Sometimes you gotta go for it, twice

On Nov 27th, 2014, I asked a girl to my first Charity Ball. I was standing in a Chick-fil-a parking lot, my soggy poster shaking in my hand as I shivered from the cold rain. Maybe she just pitied me, but to my excitement, she said yes.

After we presented Interfaith food shuttle with a check for 92K, I found myself next to my date on the balcony overlooking the Marbles dance floor. I leaned in, closed my eyes, and completely smacked my forehead into her eyebrow. Fortunately, in my smoothest move to date, I caught her as she stumbled from the force of my headbutt and said, “Let’s try that again”. The second time it worked. As I returned to earth, I quickly realized the uncharted waters I’d wandered into. I had no idea what to do, so in a stroke of pure genius, I bolted down the stairs, yelling “Uh, I have to go work coat check”. You’ll fail, probably a lot, and that’s okay: Sometimes you just gotta go for it, twice.

it’s okay to care about things

When I talk about Enloe Charity Ball, I get lost in my thoughts, I lose track of time, things start to move in slow motion- I feel like I’m the only one in the room. I could do it all day.

Everyone is going to pretend like they don’t care about things, I’m not sure why, but they will. Most of the time, they’re just scared. Do not trade-in your passion due to the fear of being vulnerable. Find something that makes you willing to feel vulnerable, and seize it. It’s okay to care about things.

Do it because you love it

The one thing I regret most about my four years at Enloe is how often I did things out of fear. Fear that If I didn’t take 15 AP classes some admissions officer might throw my application in the “denied” pile. Fear that my coach might not send me to Regionals if I didn’t hit the times I needed to. Fear that I might waste the wealth opportunities at my fingertips.

At Student Council meetings from 2:30 to 3:30 on Monday afternoons, that fear goes away. I don’t do Charity Ball because I’m scared of what some admissions officer might think, I don’t do it because I’m scared of wasting an opportunity, I do it because I love it.  I love watching other people lose track of time while they work; I love the look on Mr. Barilich’s face when someone comes up with a crazy idea; I love it all. Whatever you boys end up doing, don’t do it out of fear: Do it because you love it.

Like any great story, Charity Ball transcends the time and place it’s told. It is deeply a part of who I am, and will forever be a part of my story. Now it’s time for you two to write your own. Find something you’re willing to fail for, find something you lose yourself in to the point of vulnerability, find something you do out of love.

That’s all I got. Good luck you little rascals.

Jake Gordon

Student Body President

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