I believe in friendship. Not only did I need my friends for comfort or to feel acceptance, most importantly it was essential for my own personal evolution. I believe that in friendship I was able to find and define myself from them pushing me in different directions. Friendship allowed me to grow and discover new dimensions of my own character.
I remember one time when I was in kindergarten, the class had to color a picture of Moses climbing Mt. Sinai. I owned a box of Crayola crayons, which I used to normally keep to myself. Just like every pack of crayons at that time, mine was missing peach. Fortunately a kid next to me let me borrow his peach crayon. Every time we had to draw people I’d always ask him to borrow his peach crayon. In turn, I let him borrow some of my crayons when he needed them. For the rest of that year we became friends and had a crayon-sharing bond.
Moving on to middle school, I was never that athletic. Almost all the popular kids in school played sports. My mentality back then was that if you were a guy, you had to play a sport otherwise you were considered a “nobody”. To lower my self -esteem even more, at recess I was always picked last to play on a team. I had a good friend named Victoria, who knew how to play the guitar quite well for a girl her age. Sometimes when I came over to her house I would ask her to play some of my favorite Blink 182 songs, which she played perfectly in my opinion. She even offered to teach me how to play. That Christmas I got my first electric guitar from my parents who eventually discovered my new taste in music.
During my sophomore year of high school my friend Braden died along with his older sister while they were driving one day after school. We were almost like best friends during middle school and he always stood up for me in front of the soccer players who gave me a hard time at recess. He too was a soccer player but was able to find friendship within me, a non-athlete. We were never that close in our freshmen year, considering that we never had any classes together, and we drifted apart into new friendships. But I cried when I heard the news, later that day. I couldn’t grasp the concept of someone who I knew for years to just disappear from my life forever. Eventually I was able to come to terms with his death, and that his memory is what still keeps him alive in my mind and heart.
Each of these friendships I’ve had over the years helped me mature and find myself. My friend in kindergarten with the crayons, taught me to share and trust one another. With that, I was able to expand by sharing not only with friends, but also with people who I just meet. Victoria and Braden taught me that I don’t need to fit in a specific social norm to gain acceptance or feel like I’m worth something. Victoria brought me into the world of music, taught me not only how to play the guitar but how to be open-minded, and gave me a chance to respect myself. Now I’m in the Shenandoah Conservatory, still playing the guitar. Then there is my friend Braden. In an almost paradox way, his death taught me humility, to respect my friends and family, and to cherish every memory with those who love and care for me. I believe my friends, including the ones I forget or lose, molded me into the very person I am today. Because of them I believe I’ve become a stronger and more evolved person.
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