How to Glow

Nathalie - Cypress, Texas
Entered on November 10, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Life is filled with emotions, both wonderful and unpleasant. There are moments that are so magnificent they take your breath away. Then there are those that seem too horrific to be real. I have learned that it is necessary to embrace and cherish every joy, using it to find a way through every pain. And this I believe, you need to absorb the sun so you can glow in the dark.

Joy is defined as a feeling of great happiness or pleasure. Joy can be found when a baby is born, or when you win a contest. Joy can also be found in a sunny day, a rainbow, or dancing in the rain. Joy is the sun that lights and warms life. When you are faced with a difficult challenge use your joy to make it amenable. My joy is simply laughter. In any situation, no matter how bleak, if you can make me laugh, I can make it through.

Life threw me for a loop when I was 10. I was reaching that age when young girls become increasingly insecure about themselves and everything they do. At this time, even more so then usual, friends are a vital support system. They uphold you and encourage you to explore the unknown. I was snatched from my happy home and had to move from Alaska to Texas. Not only a huge distance, but huge culture and climate changes as well. I was suffering from anxiety to say the least. I was jealous of my little brother, who had few memories of Alaska and would easily adapt to our new home. When we finally made it down to Texas, I was alone in an immense neighborhood in a sprawling suburb of Houston. I had never lived around so many people, and I had absolutely zero friends. We moved over Christmas break, so I entered my new fifth grade class at the beginning of the second semester. Everyone already knew each other and I became painfully shy. If anyone tried to be friends with me during those first weeks I was not letting them. I soon began to be physically sick from all the stress and constant worry.

One day, one of my neighbors, Molly, came over, and we went to play in the empty lots where houses hadn’t been built yet. Suddenly, my boot got sucked into the mud. Molly came over to help me but we both slipped and tumbled into the mud. We started laughing hysterically. We laughed for five minutes straight, and then went home to clean up. The next day, I went over to ask her to play. I finally began to open up, and soon made many friends. Because I was able to find joy, I was able to make it through my move. And I believe that this can hold true for any situation. Joy is the sun that gets you through the dark.