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Jul 01 2017
by Rachel Aslan

A Thank You Note To Those I Left In High School

By Rachel Aslan - Jul 01 2017
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I thought I was mad at you, but after starting college, I realize that I should thank you.

Thank you for pushing me out of the nest so I was forced to fly on my own. I fell hard a few times, but I am just fine now. I have learned that it is OK to stop for a moment to reevaluate when there is an obstacle in my way. I have learned how to turn obstacles into something that can help my journey. More importantly, thank you for not being there to catch me. I felt betrayed at first. I was hoping you would show up to save me. I will admit, it took a while for that hope to finally leave my mind.

Thank you for helping me to realize that all villains don't wear masks, and all heroes don’t wear capes. The difference between the two used to be so unclear. So thank you for helping me realize that sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. Surrounding myself with the wrong people gave those voices inside my head more energy, emphasizing all of those insecurities I told you about. Thank you for leaving me to become my own hero.

Thank you for making our songs not sound the same, so I was forced to explore other genres of music. It's been over 30 concerts in about five years, and I am still going strong without you. I was forced to make new memories to new songs. These memories will never be regretted or forgotten. Thank you for getting me to step outside of my comfort zone in this way.

Thank you for showing me the difference between friends and family. Those who were once friends became family when they stuck around after you left me. Thank you for taking some people away from me so I had to meet new people of my own. I have grown to realize that you were able to take these people away so easily, because they never cared about me that much to begin with. If they were real friends, the type that turned into family, they would have stuck around no matter what anybody said. I now realize this was not your fault.

Thank you for forcing me to find an escape in art. I have grown to realize that life itself is a canvas. One can choose to fill it or keep it blank. The body is art, the street is art: Human life is art. I have seen much more interesting perspectives of the world behind my lense than I ever did with you.

Thank you for making me look at myself for so long that I finally became comfortable in my own skin. I realized that you just pinned everything on me to make yourself feel better. I am perfect the way I am. Thank you for helping me come to the realization that if we were all our own first loves, the world would be a better place. Quite often as young people, we have this idea stuck in our head that we need another person to complete us. We believe happiness is a destination instead of a feeling. If we loved ourselves first instead of believing these lies, many problems would be avoided.

Thank you for leaving me alone so I could become my own independent woman. I have learned how to function without having to depend on others. Yes, it is nice to have company every now and then, but I have grown to really enjoy my alone time. Now I know I can survive on my own, without you. Thank you for helping me make myself the type of woman I can be proud of. 

It is easy to say we regret meeting those who caused us pain and heartache. I will never regret meeting you. Thank you for changing my life in the best way possible. Most importantly, thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my story with others, to help them learn when it is finally time to let someone go.

Lead Image Credit: Pexels

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Rachel Aslan - Marymount Manhattan College

Rachel Aslan (she/her/hers) is a Photography and Communication Arts major at Marymount. She loves fashion, concerts, and photography (of course). She plans to pursue fashion advertising.

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