Trying to Be Happy

December 12, 2007
By Julie Hays, Nicholasville, KY

How many times have you had to say goodbye to something you love? We all have, but the difference is how the situation is dealt with. I choose to take the positive route. I believe that you shouldn’t cry because something is over; smile because it happened.

“You get to march.” Those were the words that the high school band director said after their first day of “band camp”. I hadn’t been so happy in my entire life because I simply loved band with a passion. And after months of hard work, the season ended up being the best thing I’ve ever experienced, and I found myself crying after it was over. During the last awards ceremony, before they even announced anything, I was bawling; I just didn’t want the season to close. But in spite of my depression, a good friend reminded me that more seasons would come, and that my marching band career wasn’t over. He was right, and when I thought about his advice, it seemed clear as to how I should have been feeling: happy. I knew that season was something I should be the smiling about. Why? Because it happened.

That wasn’t the first time I had to strive to be chipper. In seventh grade, just a few months before marching band, my beloved band director resigned. We were all stunned and heartbroken. On his last day, the band was outside, and he took me on a walk around the track, because he knew that I was extremely upset. He told me that he’ll miss us, too, but he won’t forget all of the great times we had, which made it easier to deal with. He swore that the intersection in our lives that caused our meeting was a “gift”, and how that cannot be forgotten. I miss him even today, but he was right; the important thing is that we met.

After both of those events, it seemed like I didn’t have much to lose. But I was proven wrong when my best friend moved back to Singapore. We had so many good times; from crazy Social Studies projects to prank calling our friend during some “down time”, and it was extremely hard for me to accept that she was leaving. She had a going away party, which was fun until we realized why we were there, which dampened the mood a bit. She visited us at lunch before she left where we exchanged lots of hugs, good-byes, and tears. A close friend of mine helped to cheer me up, and he helped me find the positive side to the situation. He reminded me that our friendship wouldn’t fade, so there really wasn’t a reason to be so sad. I’m just sure I wouldn’t be the same person if I didn’t know her.

The most significant part is the meeting, not the goodbye. Keep in mind that everything ends, but each ending brings something new. So don’t get down when you face a sad goodbye, keep it in your memory and be prepared for a new day.

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