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I Wanted Change and Change is What I Got
I was one of the guys. I guess I would consider myself as a tomboy. I was a part of the neighborhood gang which consisted of eight boys and myself. Occasionally another girl would come around, but mainly it was just me and the guys. I was associated with them ever since the fourth grade. We would all hang out almost every day and every weekend. The guys were not allowed into each other's homes, because their parents didn't trust any of them, except me. Since I was the only girl of the group I was seen as the “angel” to the parents, which I liked. Anyways, we were forced to stay outside. Hot days, cold days, perfect days, and rainy days.
We suffered them all. And suffered them together.
Being outside meant there were no boundaries. We caused all sorts of raucous. It was part of our daily routine. We walked from one park to the other making the little kids scared to come on the playground. When we got bored we would go to McDonalds and sit there until we were kicked out. From there we would go to Jewel, parading through each aisle until asked to leave. Sometimes we would play ding dong ditch or the childish invisible rope trick just to get a few laughs. During the summers Kevin and Dylan would have leftover firecrackers from the Fourth of July. I can't even start to explain how much trouble we got ourselves into with those.I can recall running from the cops a few times because of the darn things. Other than just causing mischief we would fill our time with intense talks. These talks consisted of school gossip, girl advice from me, troubles at home, our life goals, our worries, wants, and expectations of each other in the future. We would always say,“we’ll stick together through high school no matter what. I know friends drift apart in high school, but not us. We’re different”. I was comfortable with this. I mean I loved those guys.
They were like my family.
That was my life for about eight years. Fourth grade up to my junior year in high school. Eight years hanging out with the same guys. Eight years saying and laughing at the same things. Eight years of getting into the same trouble every weekend. Eight years of being treated like one of the guys.
Eight years trapped within a monotonous routine.
Being the high school girl that I am, I gradually became bored and uninterested in doing the same things over and over again. I wanted change. I wanted to do something different. Have a plan for once. Go out. Experience new things and meet new people. When I brought the idea of change up to the guys they weren’t too enthused about it.
“ Why do we need to change” Ronald exclaimed. “ Do you have a problem with the things we do”?
I shook my head with a sense of disgust from Ronalds sass. All I wanted was change, and when I brought it up the idea was shot down and thrown behind the dumpsters never to be seen again. This did not discourage me though. Just because they didn’t want change didn't mean I couldn't have it. I eventually started hanging out with girls from my basketball team. The new change of pace was fresh and excited me. Most weekends I would be doing something different or going somewhere new with the girls, and other weekends I would go back to the guys and do the same things over again. I was in between two worlds. The new and unknown or the old and familiar. I occasionally spent more time in the new and unknown world. Which was just fine to me, but the guys thought otherwise. They were not liking the fact that I would “ditch” them to go hang out with “some girls”. They felt like they were losing me in a way. And to be honest they kind of were. But i didn’t mind.
I wanted the change and I liked it.
Once I started wanting change it appeared more often. I got a job, I joined the golf team, and I got new neighbors. I was the most interested in the new neighbors because they lived right across the street from me. The family consisted of a mother, father, and three sons. The oldest son, Sam, was my age, the second, Leo, a year younger, and the third, Ryan, was in middle school. I got to know the whole family pretty well, but mostly Sam and Leo. We began hanging out almost every day. We even started a baking ritual every other weekend; taking on a new task and making it all from scratch. They often invited me to their family events and gatherings, and planned things that involved me and my interests. It was a nice change of pace.
I was able to do things that I like for a change instead of a boring routine.
Eventually I decided it would be a good idea to introduce them both to my guys. To expand the family, you know? This seemed to be a good idea at the time, but once it happened I truly regretted it. Right after I introduced them to the guys Ronald spoke his mind.
“So these are your new boyfriend's huh”?
“We are not her boyfriend’s”,Sam intervened,“ We are just her new neighbors”.
“Go back to where you came from Sam. Everything was fine before you got here”.
I was in such shock. Did he really say that? What was he thinking? He had the audacity of saying that out loud! That was it. I had enough. If that’s the way he wanted to be then fine.
Change was coming.
“I’m sorry about him. He doesn't seem to be fond of change,” I said. “Lets go.”
As we turned to leave Ronald yelled to me, “Don’t do it Laura. You don’t know what you're doing”.
When I heard that I was confused for a moment, but as it sank in I knew exactly what he meant. He was making me choose. To pick who I wanted to be friends with right then and there. Infront of everyone. It was unfair really. To choose between the guys who I have known for eight years of my life or my new neighbors that I have known for only a few months, but have had the most fun with. I froze with flames of fear in my mind and heart. I felt anger, and rage, and sadness, and guilt all at the same time. I didn't know what to do.
Change was staring at me right in the face.
The few seconds I stood there speechless felt everlasting. I wanted to cry, and I’m pretty sure I did. I held my breath, turned towards Ronald and managed to say, “ I asked for change. I wanted change, and change is what I got”.
There’s this saying that says, “Be careful what you wish for, cuz you might just get it”. Well in this story I did get what I wished for. The change I wished for and received was both thrilling and deceiving. My friends were wound up in an intricate game of change. When the ball was dropped in my hands at the last remaining seconds of the game I chose to take a chance and take the shot. The ball fell through the basket right as the buzzer went off. I won the game, but I felt like I lost it all. By breaking away from my old group of friends I was able to go out and experience a brand new social life. I was no longer trapped within the grips of the neighborhood boys. I became my own person which I wouldn't have been able to do without change. Everyone is constantly changing, so why fight it?