By Tameia Mitchell--Eagle Staff Writer
George Sand said, "There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved."
Junior Payton Jones makes this her life motto.
“To be honest, I'd like to think that I'm one of the most optimistic people you will ever meet. I see my life for what it is: a beautiful, crazy, and amazing place where I am able to do anything I set my mind to,” Jones says.
Even with hard days Jones strives to see purpose for every moment.
“Sometimes I have days where I question whether I am fulfilling my life's purpose or not, but I always try to be positive about it and remind myself that all things happen for a reason," she explains. "Our Earth and all the people that live on it are beautiful and have purpose here. We all do wrong and make mistakes, but I believe if you have a will to see the good in every situation, you can make the best out of the life you were given."
While walking through this life, Jones isn't alone, as she is often surrounded by her friends.
“To me the thing that makes friendship important is being there for one another, no matter the circumstances. Life tends to throw crazy things at us, especially when we least expect it, so having friends there to go through these trying times is what makes friendships so valuable," she shares.
"I am blessed to have friends that stick by my side despite my flaws and wrongdoings. However, reflecting on my past, I am able to see friends who have been a testimony to always being there for me, and friends who have not."
One of these friends is junior Lili Call.
“Whenever you are around [Jones] you find yourself wanting to smile at what she's smiling at, or to laugh at what she's laughing at. She always notices when someone is down and is quick to ask them what's wrong and even quicker to build them back up,” Call comments.
Jones’ friends say they see her light from all angles.
“The things that make Payton different is that in any situation, she always wants to have a good time. If she gets into an argument with anyone, she immediately wants to talk it out with someone because her heart is so big," says junior Abigail Hodges. "Payton is such a selfless person who is always trying to show love to anyone. No matter if she has known them for 5 minutes or 5 years, her love shines through."
Jones says her friends mean as much to her as she does to them.
"I have four very close friends that I love so much. These girls have shown me what having true friends is supposed to look, feel, and be like all together," she says.
Memories Jones makes with her friends are also important to her.
“My favorite memory with my friends would be my fifteenth birthday," she begins. "On my birthday I woke up to my four best friends yelling happy birthday at the top of their lungs. They told me we were gonna have a lake day then go to a little folk concert at the Harvester."
Her enthusiasm picks up.
"Let me tell you, I have never been more excited in my entire life. It wasn't because of what we were going to do that made this day so special to me, it was the fact that they planned a whole day just to celebrate me and my friendships with all of them,” Jones remembers fondly.
While already creating memories that will last a lifetime, Jones is still excited for what's to come.
“I'm more than excited for the future that is just waiting for me to grow into. I'm not really set on what I wanna do for a career, but I know God has a plan for me, and hopefully that plan includes helping others," she concludes.