Kennah Herrick

By Kennah Herrick

Growing up a quote that always stuck with me was “If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.” It’s okay to be afraid in life, you just need to find a way to work through the fear until you can reach your goals.

When I was little, bathtubs were my safe space, primarily because I was terrified of tornadoes. My family spent summer evenings at Custenborder playing Sidney Electric Softball. I have two sisters, so on any given night we might have three games. To my memory the softball field was a very popular place to be during summer months. Every field had a game and every fence was lined with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and sometimes just people who wanted some live action entertainment. In the summer it’s no secret that thunderstorms and tornado warnings are common in Ohio. On a night with a crowd bigger than ever due to a tournament, the tornado sirens sounded. A tornado was coming. People frantically gathered their ball gear, lawn chairs, and family members and bolted. They tried to get out of the very overcrowded parking lot as fast as possible. I can remember how nervous and afraid I felt sitting in the middle seat of my dad’s truck, in between both of my sisters, looking at the dark clouds spin in a very slow circle through my dad’s windshield. When we got home I grabbed my stuffed asparagus from Veggie Tales and made a b-line for the bathtub. That was my safe place from a storm. We didn’t have a basement and I think I learned from watching tv that the bathtub was the safest place to be. Despite my sisters making fun of me, it still gave me the feeling of being safe even when I was scared.

While the bathtub doesn’t provide much comfort for me anymore, I still value the concept. I have learned that when I am afraid, it’s okay to take a few minutes and do something or go somewhere that makes me feel safe again until I work up the courage to continue. Most recently I have matured to praying or talking about my fears with my closest friends. As we talk and process, they give me the comfort that my bathtub once did when I was little.

As a senior in high school my friends and I are going through many new experiences. There are days when I still wish I could grab my favorite stuffed animal and head for the bathtub. However, that is truly no longer an option. Many of my friends and peers are applying to colleges and preparing to enter the workforce. I have enlisted in the United States Army and leave for bootcamp on June 26. People ask me all of the time “Isn’t it scary thinking about going into the army?” My response is that I am more excited than scared. The fear is no bigger than a quick 15 minute tornado warning. I am smart enough to recognize that the first few months are going to be nerve racking and tenuous. I also recognize that the deployments and places I get called to might be scary as well, but with the right “bathtub” I have no doubts in my ability to be successful. I have no doubts about what I am capable of. I am also sure that throughout my experiences in the Army I will outgrow multiple safe spaces. Just like when I was a little seven year old girl, I will have to seek out new ways to overcome fears and keep my dreams safe. My dream of becoming a combat medic is bigger than any fears I might face.

Kennah Herrick is a senior at Sidney High School. She is the daughter of Dawn and Wes Herrick and has two older sisters Allie and Natalie. She plans on leaving for bootcamp at the end of June for active duty in the Army where she will train to be a combat medic. She loves hanging out with her close friends and can’t wait until Lent is over so she can have Starbucks again.