In this year, I changed

Bayley - centennial, Colorado
Entered on November 18, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Right before I went into middle school, my fifth grade teacher told me something I will never forget. Before middle school your family is closest to you. But slowly you push them away and pull your friends closer. Your friends become most important thing to you in your middle school and high school years. What happens when you lose them? And sometimes that change is for the good, other times for the bad.

In my seventh grade year, the group of people I had been “friends” with forever ditched me. What had happened? I hadn’t changed, had they? I came home crying because of what they said to me. But it made look around at who they were. I realized they weren’t the type of people I wanted to hang around with.

This realization didn’t help the pain. It still hurt to be ignored by people who had been my friends.

I changed a lot that year. I got my priorities straight. And, most importantly, I grew closer to my family. I tell my mom everything now. Before she barely knew who was dating who. Now she could tell me. She is my best friend and I have no clue what I would do without her. I became stronger and more fearless. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still afraid. But it is the right type of fear. I’m not afraid to be myself and tell people my opinions. I don’t shrink from being noticed like I use to.

I like to think that my seventh grade year formed who I am. I found the most fantastic group of girls. They love me unconditionally, even if I’m not doing what’s best. I can be who I want to be around them. We are more like sisters than anything. We can talk on the phone for hours about nothing. There are no secrets between us. When I’m not with them, I miss them. No one else gets me like they do. We can have a conversation without using words. They make me a better person by being themselves. I want to be a better person to make them proud of me. Because I don’t want them to be ashamed to call me a friend, I do what is right. This has kept me out of so many bad situations.

So when I look back on that year I see tears. I see crying myself to sleep. I see mean words. But over all the pain, I see me finding myself. I dug who I really was out of the lies. I also see me finding the people who believe in and support me. So that year is not a bad year. Is it a year of tears and fights? Yes, absolutely. But the best part was finding friends I can’t live without. They have changed me and continually will. They make be better, stronger, and bring out my best qualities. Without them, I would be lost.