When One Door Closes...

May 26, 2008
By Leah Hedrick, Park Ridge, IL

When One Door Closes…

I was alone.
The events that led up to this state of mind replayed over and over in my head like a never ending movie reel. Every person has a group of people they can always turn to for advice, but what if all the people you had ever turned to, were now the people you. Slowly I became that person you hear about whose social life got turned upside down with the entry into high school.

In the beginning, the transfer to high school was everything and more I thought it would be. School, family, and friends, were all in check. I like to think of it as a triangle that needs all three of its points in order for my own personal happiness to be in line. Slowly, but surly, one of those critical points started to take its toll on me, friends. Slowly I became the last one called, slowly I started hearing a lot of excuses, and slowly the phone rang less and less. Thankfully, I was not the only one getting the brunt of the hurtfulness, but I shared it with another friend who got the short end of the stick with me. Each time we would hang out with our friends there would be a new inside joke we weren’t superior enough to be a part of. I would ask for the background information hopping I could maybe just maybe be on the inside of the joke.

While most people say that music brings people together, I can strongly say that that was not the case in this situation. Music had always been a common interest between all of my friends. Music can trigger memories faster than the blink of an eye, and many of the songs played at the concert elicit heart wrenching memories created this awful night. Before that triangle was off balance, my friends and I bought tickets to a concert at the House of Blues. By the time the concert rolled around, things were more than awkward between my friends and I. Everything had already been planned prior to the start of our falling out, so me and my friend decided to go to the concert in hopes that this would be an experience that would bring us together.
Wishful thinking.
I have never felt so unwanted and pushed aside in my whole entire life. That night their tactics were so obvious and hurtful it pierced me like a dagger. Slowly, they tried to lose us in the crowd, and they did. If their goal was to try to make me another faceless person in a crowd, it worked. My friend and I sat in the back wondering what we could have ever done to deserve this.
The answer, nothing.
When it was time to go I put a smile on and tried to be nice, but at soon as I walked through that door to my house, I broke down into tears. The tears streamed down like rain on a windshield. That night I promised myself that I would find a group of people that cared for me as much as I cared for them. I was never going to let myself be in a group where as soon as one person left the room, they became the next hot topic for gossiping about. I made a decision to stop trying to be friends with people who clearly no longer befriended me the way I had always been there for them.
Easier said than done.
That concert was the start of an extremely drawn out and lonely summer. It’s not all that easy to find people to hang out with when school is no longer in session and the familiar faces you saw everyday at school slowly got foggy. My one friend and I lived at each others houses, but there tends to be limitations on the amount of things you can do when the only other person we had were each other. While for most kids summer is full of bonfires, beaches, and get-aways, our summer was filled a boring repetition of movies and sadness. We spent countless hours contemplating what we should do or how we could put ourselves out there in order for us to find a group where we could finally fit in. Luckily, my friend and I grew so close in those months that I feel that now we can over come anything thrown at us, and we do.
That summer was the most painful times of my life, and it passed so slowly that each day it felt like the walls around me got closer and closer. I have never been so excited for school to start back up in my life. Those unfamiliar faces became familiar again. I knew I would have to face my old friends, but it was worth it in order to get out. My best friend and I knew we had some work to do. We were determined to open up a new door in our lives that led to a group of all new people.
We did just that.
We overcame the slow and awkward beginnings of making new friends and found friends in people that I know will be there until the end. I am so much happier now with my new true friends than I ever was with my old friends. I now know what it is like to have friends who would do anything for you, and I would do the same for them. I do not regret my decision to make new friends at all, because I finally feel accepted as the person I am.
I never knew how important your friends were to your well being until mine all left me. At that age every little thing you do is picked at, analyzed, and spread around, and my old friends were pros at that. Confidence crumbles when everything you once knew falls from beneath you. However, when one door closes another one opens with a new beginning. I was able to pick up the fallen pieces and build myself back up. All it takes is one decision to improve your life for the better. Most of the time it seems to get worse before it gets better, but when it gets better it becomes so worth it.

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