As a newly elected Oregon FFA State Officer there are many moments where we wonder. I can’t speak for my fellow teammates but ever since my name was read from that legendary stage at state convention, my mind has been in a constant state of wonder. And how could it not be? So many new experiences and life changing events, packed into days and months where we are bombarded with opportunities and knowledge that could not only better ourselves but those around us. So, with all this fresh information, we wonder. 

We wonder about our new position and how we can best serve Oregon FFA. Am I ready? Do I really have what it takes to be someone that is constantly being watched by members, advisors, and sponsors alike? What if I can’t live up to the person that Oregon FFA elected me to be? There were 20 other candidates, was I really the best choice? Imposter syndrome, self doubt, and a feeling of overwhelming can quickly overtake us. 

We wonder about chapter members who look up to us and who we are supposed to set an example for. What if I am the state officer who can’t connect with members? How do I be approachable, authentic, and enthusiastic all in one? What is the right thing to say in awkward or difficult situations? Our desire to be able to make as many connections and influence as many individuals as possible causes our brains to overload and overthink even simple situations.

We wonder about our brand new team who we will be spending all day, every day with for the next year. How will the team dynamics be? What if I struggle to get along with one of my teammates? What if I’m the problem? Will we live up to the teams before us? The standard to instantly get along and be immediately as good as the years before looms over us. 

Wait a minute! *Record scratch* This doesn’t feel right. This isn’t wonder. No, this is doubt. Polluting our minds and causing us to feel every negative emotion under the sun. Wonder is a euphoric feeling of awe and admiration caused by something beautiful or inexplicable. Wonder is Willy Wonka in his chocolate factory, surrounded by sweets, cultivating your imagination. Wonder is P.T. Barnum opening the very first circus and expanding the minds and hearts of everyone who dared to enter. Wonder is listening to that one absolute banger as you drive down the highway with your windows down during the warm summer evening. 

Wonder is running, full speed, onto the stage as they call your name to be the next Oregon FFA State Officer. Taking the stairs two at a time and bear hugging the retiring officer on stage. The cheers from the stands ringing in your ears as the weight of the last couple days, the last couple weeks, the last couple months, lifts from your shoulders. Looking at the faces in the crowd and realizing you will be spending the next year doing absolutely nothing but serving them in the best way possible. 

Wonder is running into a member you haven’t met before and walking away from that encounter with a new friend. Being genuinely interested in an individual and gaining an understanding of the impact and magnitude that Oregon FFA has on their lives. 

Wonder is glancing around at your team during training and knowing that every single person on that state officer team was meant to be there. Watching as Taft roughs around and merrily makes jokes with the others. Seeing how much Julie cares about the people around her, no matter who they are. Talking with Vivian and feeling, knowing that members are going to absolutely love her. Hearing comments that uplift us and plaster a smile across our face from Hunter. Witnessing the heartfelt devotion that your Dale has for even the tiniest of details relating to this organization. 

That is what it means to be filled with wonder. 

An awe inspiring feeling, that you are a part of something much larger than yourself or even the FFA.

We all could use a little more wonder in our lives.

~Spencer Romans, State Vice President