Guys. I'm a second-semester senior. In college. When in the world did this happen?! Yesterday, I drove down to Edmond for a Silent Breakfast at a Panera Bread there. One of the middle schools in the city has a pretty new ASL Club whose teacher/sponsor/leader is a friend from OSU ASL, and she brought her students to breakfast as their first ever Silent Event. Talking to them made me remember what I was like as a 6th, 7th, and 8th grader. One of the 6th grade girls was half as old as I am-literally. She's 11! I just am amazed at how far I've come and how far they still have to go in their lives. It's humbling and absolutely incredible.
Remembering that I was once very similar to those young girls, taking everything personally and trying so hard to fit in, I wished that I had always thought the way that I do now - that every day should be filled with joy, and love, and not taken for granted; that you shouldn't sweat the small stuff; that it does get better, and the things that seem like big things now will be miniscule hilarities to look back on when you get older. I have truly reread note passed between friends and I form when I was 13 and 14 and shook my head and laughed at how utterly ridiculous we are as teenagers.
But you don't feel ridiculous when it's happening. And I guess that's part of the growing up process is going through that time of feeling like all eyes are constantly on you; working to fit in and then realizing as you get older that it just doesn't matter that much - that you're a good person, and people should get to know you in order to see that instead of judging based off of your clothes, or hair, or interests. I kind of feel bad for what these girls will soon be going through as high schoolers, learning the tough lessons of finding true friendship, heartache, anxiety for getting into college, knowing what they want to do with their lives, and pleasing their friends, teachers, and parents with all of those choices. It's making my heart beat faster just typing about it, and I've already lived through it!
It just reminds me to be thankful that I never experienced anything incredibly terrible while I was a teenager, and makes me want to think of them and pray for them to learn what I have in the easiest way possible, rather than a tough and painful way. And maybe share through actions that life is best served with a smile, shared with a friend, and never taken for granted.