Proudly Ashamed

October 1, 2009
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I threw my backpack violently on the gray carpet and slid down my teal-blue wall. My body convulsed and I started to sob, thinking about how my life would never be the same. My best friend for eight years was on a plane to Spain and I would never see her again. Life wasn’t supposed to be this serious in the eighth grade- I was only in middle school. Life lessons weren’t supposed to come to me until I was in my twenties, not fourteen. But such is my life, and the lesson I learned from Ivana, my best friend, moving has stuck with me throughout the recent years.

Four months before Ivana boarded the plane to a different country, a different life, we got in an argument. It was Friday morning, and every Friday for years Ivana and I had gone to the Grapevine Mills mall to shop, then saw a movie. It was somewhat of a tradition, eating Panda Express in the food court, sneaking some Haagen-Dazs milkshakes up our jacket sleeves and into the theatre. Ivana and I were sitting on the bleachers in the gym at Lamar, waiting for school to start, when she told me she was going to sleep over another friend’s house that night. I exploded with jealously and rage because we had always spent Fridays together. She told me that we could still go to the mall after school; she was just going to go home right after. Prideful, I told her I wasn’t going to waste her afternoon and she could talk to me when she was ready to apologize for ditching me. So we didn’t talk for four months, because we both knew I was wrong. My pride kept me from apologizing or even admitting I was the one that was overreacting, and no one tried to talk me out of it. Although, Ivana and I had been so close and so inseparable for the past eight years that when we stopped talking the whole school was shocked.

Months passed and the year went on, we made new best friends. Ivana and I had a class together every other day, and played volleyball on the same club team, so obviously I had more than plenty of opportunities to make things right. Lord knows I wanted to, but my overbearing pride felt differently. It still pains me to think about, even three years after the fact, that I couldn’t man up and apologize. The fact that pride is such a household product and part of everyone’s life is troublesome to me; how many other best friends have been lost due to self-preservation? Ivana moved to Spain four months after our last words were spoken to each other, but the impact of her friendship and our fight will stay with me wherever I go. Pride is overrated, widely unnecessary and a parasitic character trait. Although Ivana and I have wrote to each other, and she’s forgiven me, our relationship has suffered from that day and it will never be as strong as it was (her being on a different continent aside); but the good that came from that awful year was the maturity and knowledge I gained that will help me later on in life.

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