As Nelson Henderson once said, “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” This quote really hits home for me. I believe people are meant to come in other people’s lives for a reason. We may not know it at the time, but we all have a special place in other people’s lives. Life works in unexpected ways, which is its true beauty. This year more than ever the idea of creating meaning in other’s lives has taken a course of its own and a whole new light has been brought on to me.
This year, my final year of high school, I made an intrepid decision to transfer schools. After eighth grade I went from Forest Hills Central High School to Forest Hills Eastern High School, right when Eastern became a new school. My parents were lenient on whether I wanted to switch or not, but I told them that going to a brand new school seemed like a really exciting idea. For the following four years I met new people that turned into great friends and enjoyed the enticing atmosphere.
However, at the end of my junior year I decided I wanted a change; going back to my former school brought me all the change I needed. Many people questioned my decision and thought I was absolutely crazy for wanting to switch schools my senior year. Shrugging off their standoffish remarks, I told them I had always yearned to graduate from there. I was not sure how I was going to adapt to change since I had not seen many of my old friends in almost five years, but I was ready for whatever “obstacles” that come my way. It was time to sit in someone else’s shade.
Contrary to the thought of solely reconnecting with old friends, about two months into my senior year, I met two of the greatest people I didn’t know before – Joey and Deqa. I was acquaintances with Joey before I left my former school but I never guessed that he would become one of my best friends.
I had never met Deqa before, since she moved here from Africa the year after I left. Life was difficult in Africa, where not everyone in her family got out alive. She saw people get killed before her very eyes. Gun shots, battle wounds, and fear were part of her everyday life. Hearing her stories about Africa cut me deeply, and I couldn’t believe how well she held herself together. But I knew from day one that we would become close friends.
The way things turned out couldn’t convince me more that people come into your life for a reason. While reminiscing about going off to college one day, Deqa told Joey and me how much we have changed her life. Even though I had only met her this year, she said how blessed and lucky she was to have us in her life.
In conclusion, I can proudly say that I have lived up to Henderson’s quote. I planted trees under Deqa’s shade, so to speak. Deqa nor Joey would not have been in my life if I had not made the switch to Central my senior year. My decision was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made. Everything happens for a reason and people come in and go out of people’s lives for a reason, leaving an eternal imprint.
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