This I Believe

Jade - Jacksonville, Florida
Entered on June 26, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family, love

Changes can be for the Better

I am 14 now. There are things to do for the first time, and growing up is one of them – this, possibly lasting a lifetime. Every day I agonize about life itself and the boundaries I can still defeat. Whether the ‘futures in hand’ that I often thought about were to become regrets and dreams of how I wish I could go back to do everything differently. Of course, along the way, I’ve so far faced many trials and tribulations. Each of them expressing their own capabilities to let me contemplate or float on cloud nine.

My father would sometimes tell me when I was younger, after he was done tickling me, or when we tranquilly watched the sun set as we sat on the beach that, “Things will change between us. Someday you won’t want to go to the beach with me any more.”

I’d always look at him strangely, laughing at his peculiar judgment. I even felt betrayed sometimes when he would say such things in such a soft-spoken tone.

But, now I unfortunately can see and feel within my own behavior, that it was true. All those times that he’d tell me about our changing bonds, they were spoken from a man with experience to an unwilling puerile child. Bonds have still been holding on between us I’d like to say, but there was a time where the quality of our time and relationship was hindered enough by my intruding shame. I am not sure, if it was just me that saw true significance buried beneath his words once—but it was he who told me, “I don’t know you anymore, Jade. You’re changing.”

I punished myself enough, the way I would think about the small things he’d say. By now, I think he’s realized it too, but it was those types of things that mattered most to me. It seemed like he wasn’t proud of me anymore, as though he wasn’t hanging on to our ties that I wished to embrace forever. Yet, somehow I couldn’t either, because I was at the unbearable stage of adolescence.

All I had was our memories. The not so distant past, when I quarreled with myself as to how I should ask if I could hold his hand as we crossed the street. Or the comforting recollections of when I’d tug dad into the salty seas of the Atlantic Ocean…And then there were those exceptional occasions when he’d take me to an animated movie as an immense revelation.

I could hope as much as I wanted, for those times to return, yet, it took protracting, arduous thinking for me to realize – better things have come out of the continuous growth in my mind and body. Everything changes, for the better or for the worst. I believe in the better, because I can see somewhere, that new forms of love and bonding may become formidable yet prolonging. I felt like reaching for Dad’s hand, and telling him, “I could introduce you, once more, to the new me if you’d like.”