Change is a necessary thing in life. I’ve come to realize it’s inevitable even if you don’t want it. High school is full of change. The big leap of faith from middle school to high school is the worst kind of change. High school changes people and I’ve never really known what that meant until I experienced it myself. People get more cliquey, along with the drinking, the parties, and who makes the cut to be invited. Friends change a LOT. That’s one of the main things I remember about my first year in high school. Not even my close friends really because thankfully they decided to put up with me for a little longer, but the acquaintances that I kept close in middle school that slowly stopped talking to me as much because they were more interested in boys and booze than hanging out and having sleepovers with me. Not to act depressed, but I definitely had my moments where my self-esteem would be in the negatives. It was definitely an emotional roller coaster especially when my crush’s wouldn’t talk to me and my grades weren’t excellent. But somehow looking back now at the ups and downs over my first three years I have definitely changed myself, not just everyone else around me. And honestly for the better. My freshman yearbook picture is hideous and makes me cringe just looking at it. Don’t even get me started with middle school.. I’ve grown taller, my hair’s grown longer, boys started talking to me a little more, I’m developing a new style, new friends, somewhat better grades (Junior year especially), and I’ve started drinking and trying new things; experimenting. Obviously keeping a good head on my shoulders throughout the journey. But change, although proving to be ultimately good, can sometimes hurt as well.
Growing up is a big change. At some point it kind of slaps you in the face and you kind of look around and wonder what hit you when you’re sitting in a silent row of desks in a plaster-white classroom; staring at the bubbles labeled A through E in an answer booklet for the SAT’s on your desk (ACT’s in my case). It’s a scary thought- growing up. But it’s inevitable, bound to happen, no avoiding it.
A lot of things have changed in my life and I tend to think of them as the mile-markers when I look back. The first big change in my life was moving from my big, yellow house in one town to my next big, white house a town over. Changing schools and finally starting public school was a big jump because unlike Montessori schools, you apparently have more than five other kids in your grade and have to listen to a teacher talk to you for hours on end. It was a foreign concept to me, exciting at first. Change can be exciting even if in reality you look back and wonder “why did I want that?”. It’s something new and different. Like when I was about six or seven I imagine, I remember dying to have braces. I would have loved nothing more for my mom to bring me to the orthodontist so I could get the metal wires glued to my teeth…why would I ever want that…… My braces years were the most ugly and painful years of my life. My teeth were way more crooked than the average person’s teeth to begin with so when they put the brackets and wires on, the wires were crooked and jagged going all different directions; front, back, up, down. Ugh it was disgusting. The next phase was the retainer phase. I could not wait to have that metal bar run across the front of my teeth. I thought it would be so much fun to be able to actually remove something from my mouth and put it in a slobbery (*sparkly) case where they would marinate in my saliva until after I finished eating. Well when you think about it that’s really what they do in there! Of course picking out the colors brought a whole other slew of excitement. Now? I’m supposed to wear my retainers every night. The last time I wore them was probably over a month ago and that was only for two nights when I felt guilty after my mom was pestering me about how much money she paid to have my teeth rearranged. Those two nights were probably the most painful nights of my life. Never again will I wear my blue, glittery, one hundred-dollar piece of shitty plastic and metal again.
We moved to another smaller house within the same town just to down size a couple of years later. I loved that white house though, and I’ll never forget it.
The next big change wasn’t a very positive one. My parents getting divorced was definitely a curve ball that I’ll never forget, but at the same time something that has had so many positive effects on my life as I know it now. My mom’s boyfriend and his kids have brought so much happiness to my life that I would have never experienced if my parents didn’t separate. Not saying that I’m glad they did, don’t get me wrong… I would do anything for us to be a family again as would any other kid with divorced parents, I’m sure. But this change has had its ups too. My dad’s girlfriend is the sweetest lady and is so kind to me, my brother and my sisters; I can’t not smile when I look at her beaming smile and excitement whenever she sees me, and sometimes it’s just because I’m laughing at her…but still. She’s a great woman!
After all those changes along with the growing up and changing in all the good ways, there’s a different kind of change too. And it’s not the kind where you get excited for something new and different, like the idea of trading my iPhone for a flip phone just because it would be fun to run my thumbs over the buttons again. But it’s more of the change where you look back and want so badly just to have a time machine so you can go back and experience the good times. The kind of change where no matter how hard you try, you can’t let go of what used to be. The kind of change where boys come into play, and suddenly it’s a different ball game all together.