AUTHOR: SHAN, FOUNDER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR // For the first time since I was 17, I’ve been reading through my fast write journal from a Creative Writing class I took as a Senior in high school. It was taught by Tish Knapp, a wonderfully wild and kind woman who came complete with a pet emu and wallaby. She got us out of the classroom often and immersed in other environments to help each of us develop personality and perspective in our writing.
According to an entry on October 3, 2002, Tish had taken us back to the elementary school gymnasium to watch a class full of Kindergartners during a rainy day recess. On a small island, she knew 90% of her students must have many memories in this echo-filled barn with glassy floors and old wooden bleachers. Here, we were to observe the five year olds scurrying about, in their first year of school - as we were entering our last. I think we all froze for a moment and reflected on how fast our childhoods had passed. We were the “big kids” now, and sooner than later most of us would take one last ferry off the island and make a new life elsewhere. Our echoes in the gymnasium and ramblings in the high school halls would be replaced by the next generation, and the next after that.
Reading my passage back today, I sat and reflected as I reached the last paragraph. “These children seem so small to me. I never felt that small as a kid. But I suppose you never know how small you are - until you grow up.”
I’m two months shy of my 30th birthday and within 18 months, my son will be as old as those kids. In everything I’ve done and been through in the 13 years since I wrote that entry, that perspective, that Tish tried to instill and that I experienced that day in the gym, is what slows me down when it all seems to be flying by too fast. In life, love, business - you really don’t ever know how small you are- until you grow up.