Looking back on myself in August of 2016, I see a completely different person. Yes, we all have the same facial structure and body type over time, but we knew that wasn’t going to change. Mentally, however, I did a 360-degree spin, and I ended up in a different place (don’t ask about the math behind it, it will make sense in a bit).
My senior year was off to a great start. I had a best friend in my grade and a best friend off at college in southern California. I had a fantastically hilarious group of friends to eat lunch with. My best friend and I became friends with a pair of guys and we became a squad. I went on trips, had someone to share my Panda Express obsession with and my TV show of choice had just been renewed. Life seemed perfect, or as perfect as it could be.
Somewhere in October, my best friend — who was away at college — and I had a falling out over a boy. I also got a really bad haircut — I asked for three inches off and the lady took off six. The best friend who I was in school with my started to talk only about subjects I wasn’t interested in and demanded my undivided attention, and I slowly started to get fed up. When I decided to stop hanging out with her, our friendship with the guys fell apart, too. The only couple that sat at my lunch table broke-up, and the girls and the guys took different sides. What ensued for the next month or so was complete and utter disaster (well, a mild disaster compared to some of the other things out there in the world).
For a short period of time, the only glimmer of hope was when my best friend in college and I made up in December and my lunch table was reformed as well. With six months left of high school, I didn’t think it was logical or worth it to make friends or try and get closer to anyone I was friends with. I have heard many times that the expiration of high school friendships is graduation and with that, the effort wasn’t worth it. And let me tell you, this was the best decision I could have made for myself.
Ironically, I started making more friends after I made this little promise to myself. Yes, everyone hits puberty in the awful times of middle school, but I finally grew up this year. I have always been extroverted, but when I suddenly didn’t care about impressing anyone at my school, the extrovert in me rejoiced. I became more real, more genuine and I started to connect.
Letting go of myself allowed me to be myself. So, finally, to explain my mathematical inaccuracy from earlier: I have mostly the same friends and the same people surrounding me every day. I have the same house, the same phone number and my hair is finally back to my normal length. Everything is the same except for a mindset I have developed. You always hear that if people love you, they should accept all parts of you. I took this to heart, showing my true colors.
With my graduation date less than a week away, I can gratefully and confidently say that I am happy with the memories I will have of my second semester of senior year. While it may not be perfect, it’s what I made of it.
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