Megan Braun column: Looking back and looking forward

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 22, 2014

Ginger Rogers once said, “Looking back at my life’s voyage, I can only say that it has been a golden trip.”

If you are like me, “looking back” is a regular occurrence, especially as we prepare to enter a new year. For me, 2014 was quite an adventure.

As a high school senior, I am currently overwhelmed with scholarship applications, working two jobs, maintaining my grade point average and, ultimately, trying to figure out which college to attend.

Usually, being so busy does not allow time to stop and think about all of the opportunities I have. As the holidays approach, however, I keep thinking how incredibly grateful I am to be so overwhelmed.

As we wrap up this year and enter 2015, I wanted to give the community a chance to look back with me and allow readers to voice their goals for the new year.


“This year, I have accomplished something that has taken me 33 years to do. I have struggled my entire life with poor body image. In the fall of last year I started running, and this year, have become somewhat addicted to this, as it makes me feel better about myself, gives me some free time, makes me push myself, and allows me to achieve what I never thought was possible (as I was never a runner). Through running, I have found the confidence I have been lacking, and have been able to see what is important. I no longer want to be super skinny, but rather, want to be tough and healthy. I set out to run a ten miler in 2014. Since then I have run three half marathons, and will continue to set goals for myself and strive to be healthy and happy in 2015.”

– Melissa B., stay-at-home mom


“This year, I traveled to Spain alone so that I could immerse myself in the Spanish language and culture. I learned how to navigate airports and train stations all while communicating in a second language. I was nervous and excited all at the same time, because I was living abroad for over three months and moving in with a family who spoke zero English! Living abroad has made my appreciation for different languages and cultures skyrocket, and at the same time made my appreciation for living in America even stronger. I’m extremely thankful for my time abroad and the strength that it has given me to pursue my dreams of becoming a Spanish teacher!” – Rachel Gebelein, college student


“I feel I have accomplished a lot workwise this year.  I now have a system that seems to be working well to stay on top. I hope to continue to try to work “outside the box” to always improve the process that it takes to accomplish the best end results. On a personal note, I love to read and I hope this coming year to have time to try some new authors. I also want to try to be mindful of other’s feelings before I speaking or sharing my thoughts in the coming year.” – Sandra Ward, law office employee


“My life in 2014 changed forever when my husband was injured in a car accident. We have struggled, sacrificed, and went without and have still managed to make it through. Now, my husband is back at work. I will begin nursing school in August of 2015.” – Kim Brown, wife of Chris Brown, injured in April 2014 wreck


“As I look back over the year, I am most proud of how I saw God work in and through the people of Mount Tabor United Methodist Church. My goals for 2015 are to graduate from Hood Theological Seminary and enjoy some extra time with my family.” –Kris Mares, pastor of Mount Tabor UMC


“The Rowan County Weather Facebook page has gained over 3,000 followers and the Twitter page has gained over 1,000. I became a Weather Ready National Ambassador for NOAA and NWS. In 2015, I hope to be able to deliver weather information to all Rowan County residents through various ways to include those who may not be able to access information through social media.” – Steve Monday, Rowan County Weather


“In this new year, I refuse to continue to watch FOX news and other news outlets that are not required to report factual news and just spew hatred for ratings. I also plan to be ‘more awake’ to local, state, and national issues that affect our environment and be a more active participant in making changes, starting at home.” – Veleria Levy, West Kannapolis voter precinct chair and former Rowan County Democratic Chair

As for me, 2015 should be yet another adventure — I will graduate from high school and begin a new chapter of my life in college.

I can only hope that this transition will come with ease, and that I can continue writing while moving toward my ultimate goal of becoming a broadcast news reporter.

To all of Rowan County, I wish you a joyous holiday and a goal-oriented, happy new year.