Lost and Confused

May 26, 2010
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It was nearing the end of the school year. The days were getting longer. The sun was getting hotter. Most of us could hardly sit still in class anymore because we were so excited for summer. This wasn’t going to be any old summer though. We were going to be big bad sixth graders next year. That’s right. We were moving up in the world and finally leaving our days of recess and walking from class to class in single file lines like we were baby ducks following behind our mother. I couldn’t wait till that bell hit three thirty so I could race out of my “little kid” seat and out of elementary school, leaving behind part of my childhood and some of that security that I always felt there. In middle school, I would finally gain some freedom and wouldn’t have teachers breathing down my neck for everything I did. Life was going to be good.

There was only one problem that would be on my mind all summer and would make my summer not so perfect. And that would be the question “So where do I go now?”

The choice was ultimately mine. The first grown up decision I would have to make. I still don’t understand why my parents would trust an eleven year old to make such a big decision, but they did. The choice of where to go to middle school was in my hands. It was probably the most important decision I would have to make in my short life at that time. And to me it seemed like a life or death situation. The thing was that there were two middle schools, kids from my town generally went to after elementary school: Emerson or Lincoln. Most of the kids from Washington and Roosevelt went to Lincoln and the kids from Carpenter (where I went to elementary school), Field, and Franklin went to Emerson. The problem was that I lived smack dab in the dividing area of town where the kids who lived there could choose whether they wanted to go to Lincoln or Emerson. For my parents the logical answer was to go to Lincoln, since I lived two blocks away from the school and my sister had gone there and liked it. But they said it was up to me since the whole rest of my school was going to Emerson.

For me though, the decision was pretty complicated I didn’t know if I wanted to leave my friends behind and start sixth grade at a school which I literally knew NO ONE!

Ok , let’s be honest here for a second. I was, am, and probably always will be a shy kid. It is typically not something you grow out of. So when I was little ( An example being Elementary School) I had a hard time making friends, and for that matter, keeping them in general. When you are little it is all about the fair weather friend much like the fair weather fan. One minute you will be best friends with someone, then you will get in to some stupid fight and the next minute you’ll have found a new best friend, true friends huh? Well, I was pretty much the poster child for this situation. But for some reason I still had second thoughts about leaving Carpenter and my fair weather friends. It was like a security blanket for me and I was just not willing to let it go.

I tried to imagine many times, walking in to Lincoln on my first day of sixth grade. It would be like I was lost in a far off jungle surrounded by strange creatures staring back at me: completely unknown territory. I would want to run away and just turn around but I knew that would leave everyone with that first impression I wasn’t looking to give off: the chicken. I would imagine going to lunch and looking for a place to sit with my friends and then realizing I had none there. Then I would end up sitting all by myself at some reject table where all the people who had to leave their friends behind sat.

I let my imagination run wild and thought up every possible scenario on how my first day at Lincoln would be. From awesome first days, to sitting in a bathroom stall eating my lunch by myself, which as we know no one would enjoy.

For me, this decision was all about courage. Something I was certain I was lacking up until this point in my life. Would I take that leap of faith and go against the crowd? Would I let my fears get the best of me and go where everyone else was headed and go to Emerson? Well I’ll tell you something, I took that leap of faith and I decided to forget everything else and everyone else and decided on Lincoln.

To be honest, I really couldn’t tell you why I chose what I did. Maybe it was the fact that I was tired of trying to “fit in “ and just wanted to do something different, something I wanted, or maybe it was because I really had matured during that summer and once it came to decide on what school come August, I made the most responsible decision? I really don’t know the answer to that, but I will tell you something I learned from this. I’m not trying to have any stupid “morals” or “lessons” to this story but the one thing I will say is that sometimes the answers to the hardest decisions are right there in front of you (in this case literally two blocks away from me) and you just have to look.

And one more thing. Just to end this, I have never for one second regretted my decision.

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