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Into the Outside
I smiled softly as I walked through the open door into the outside. People were laughing, smiling, and crying. People were moving all around me. Time was passing, last notes were being exchanged, and quick goodbyes were written on yearbooks across the campus.
But it didn’t feel like it was over. I did my routine walk with a friend to the office where we split up and I met my best friend, one of my best friends. Then we took the short trip to a picnic table that was across from her next period; this is where we met our other best friend. There are three of us and we call each other the tripod.
We met up with other people at this table too. It was a table full of laughter, smiles, and inside jokes. It was a table full of excitement for the future and longing for the memories that never last. But it still felt as if it would never end.
But soon enough the bell would ring for class and my friends would be late for their sixth period and if it happened to be Friday the teacher would make them sing “Friday” by Rebecca Black, but that was a promise he never fulfilled, unfortunately.
I didn’t have a sixth period and neither did one of my best friends. So together we walked across the empty campus into the filled parking lot for seniors. When we got to our cars we talked for a little before we finally decided to go to my house and watch TV. When got in our separate cars and we left.
But this time was different because we had just finished our last day of high school ever, and in two days time we would be graduating. High school was over. And I contemplated this on the ride home. I contemplated what would happen next, what I would become, where I would end up going.
I was enrolled in college already at Brigham Young University, Hawai’i. I had declared my major under Mathematics because I was good at math. But I didn’t know what I wanted for my future really. I knew I always wanted to write, because writing was natural for me. Writing was like eating for me. I could go a while without it, but eventually, I had to write, because my brain wouldn’t stop creating or thinking. And not writing what I was creating felt like I was taking away whom I was and who I was supposed to be from this world.
Two days later I walked off a stage carrying a case for my diploma and hugging the school security guard as I waited for my friends to follow me off stage. As I let go of the security guard my good friend said my name and I turned to him and smiled and I ran up to him and hugged him and I realized something.
I realized I would miss this place, high school. I would miss the classes that introduced me to people I never knew existed, people that were unique and would mean more to me than just a face and a body. I would miss the teachers who judged me based on what I looked like that first day, who hated me for making one mistake and the ones who loved me for never giving up. I would miss being a teenager and acting like it. I would miss the laughs that made me cry at a crowded lunch table. I would miss having a freedom of childhood. I would miss all these people as we dispersed to different colleges across the world.
And when my friends ran up to me next I hugged them tighter than I had ever before. Because we did it, we graduated. We passed all of our classes, we made it through the long years of mean teachers and we experienced more than just high school. We experienced happiness, despair, love, hatred, betrayal, excitement, embarrassment, and fear. We experienced life. And it didn’t matter then that two of us would be rooming together at Brigham Young University, Hawaii, and the other would be attending California State University Stanislaus in the fall. It didn’t matter that our good friends were all going to different schools and some of them were leaving on missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
What mattered was that we were alive and well and our life wasn’t beginning, for it had already begun, we were just staring on a fresh page, a new canvas, the next level; and through the Internet, cellphones and letters, we were going to do it together.
So now it’s summer and in forty-three days I will be on a plane headed for college. Most of my friends are leaving sooner and some later. I get to drop my best friend off at Stanislaus and my mom and grandma will come with me to Hawai’i to drop me off at the dorms.
In forty-three days I will have said bye to my father, my older sisters, Rochelle, Sasha, Nicole, and Madison, my older brother Spencer, and my two little brothers Austen and George. I will have said bye to all of my high school friends except one.
Life doesn’t really stay the same for a long time. It feels like it does but life changes a lot. It changes a little each day with every choice we make and ever action we take. It changes as we breathe and walk and talk to one another. We change everyday. Each and every one of us learns, grows and adapts in our own ways as we interpret life around us and react to it.
Sometimes life changes for the worse, someone in the family has cancer, so-and-so got arrested, the fridge isn’t working, the car broke down on the side of the freeway, running out of toilet paper while going to the bathroom, or someone dies. And these things affect us in ways we had never imagined they could, some in more ways than others. Sometimes we blame ourselves for the simplest of mistakes because sometimes those are the ones that have consequences that affect us terribly. A lot of times we blame ourselves for the actions others take or the way life pans out even though these things are out of our control.
However, a lot of the time life changes for the best. Sometimes these changes are on a big scale, getting that promotion, getting your work published, getting your masters degree, getting that new car, winning the lottery. But most of the time these changes are small and often go unnoticed, getting that green light when you are too impatient at a stoplight, finding the last item that was just what you needed at the grocery store, having a job that you may hate, finishing your last sentence of your essay two words before the maximum word count, or having your favorite song start to play as you turn on the radio.
My life is changing, parts of it for the better, I will be continuing my education at a great school and I’ll have my best friend beside me every day, other parts for the worse, my dad is having health problems and can’t get the attention he needs because he doesn’t have health insurance and I wont be here if anything happens to him and I may have separation anxiety when I’m away from my family for extended periods of time.
But life’s going to happen anyways, and it will continue to change, and all these memories I will keep with me. They will inspire me, uplift me, and will continue to make me smile for the rest of my life. I’ll always remember the bad times and I’ll always remember the good times and there is so much more to come. And when I make mistakes I will always forgive myself because I know that we are all imperfect.