This school year has easily been the most social year I’ve ever had. Before, I looked at the world in hate. I thought, the world is against me, so I’m against the world. So there. Then a person stepped in and figuratively “saved my life.” That friend saved my social standing, and I owe him a lot. I’m withholding his name in this reflection so no one’s feelings will get hurt and so that people won’t be able to decide fully who this person is. But no matter what, this person has been a big influence on me and on my life.
To begin with, I was the person who sat alone. The person who wore dark colors, the person who didn’t want to be noticed, but ultimately draw more attention to oneself than if they put oneself out there. And that’s what drew my friends attention to me. That’s when he began to hang out with me more. It started as just a “hey, how you doin’?” kind of thing. He invited me to sit at his table and to come and chat with him. I was still in that “the world is against me, so I’m against the world” phase, and I figured I had nothing to lose. Nothing to win, either. And I accepted his terms. Some of the people I knew before eighth grade were at the table, too, and we started talking. We visited the whole lunch period, and before we knew it, the bell rang. The very next day, I found myself going back to the table to continue the chat where we left off the day before.
Because of my frequent visits to my friends table, my disposition changed. I became less sullen and more kind. The rainclouds that I carried with me everywhere I went cleared up and went away. And one day when I was listening to my radio a song came on. A song I hadn’t heard in awhile called “If You’re Going Through Hell” by Rodney Atkins. And while I was subconsciously listening, a verse stood out to me while I was listening. The part that stood out to me is underlined. The second verse goes “Well, I been deep down in that darkness I been down to my last match/Felt a hundred different demons breathing fire down my back/And I knew that if I stumbled I'd fall right into the trap/That they were laying, yeah/But the good news is there's angels everywhere out on the street/Holding out a hand to pull you back upon your feet/The one's that you been dragging for so long you're on your knees…” (Atkins verse 2. I felt only right that I cite my text evidence). But I took a time to think about the meaning of the line. “Angels everywhere out on the street.” What did that mean? And as I thought about it, Rodney Atkins was right. There are angels everywhere. And some of them can be your closest friends. And with that, I made a goal to acknowledge those angels.
By the same token, that commitment helped change my personality. All throughout eighth grade, I began changing my way of life. I helped others along, I began to interact with girls my age when normally I didn’t in an effort to avoid gossip and girly habits. I saw the sun behind every cloud. And yes, I brightened my color pallet. Granted, I didn’t always wear a bright sparkly pink every day; I did wear black sometimes. I still do. But not every day. And the dark colors that I wore usually was made up with the shine that had begun to light up my eyes. I took more comfort from my friends and gave happiness and hope to the people who needed it. The people I hung out with began to reflect my spirit. The good friends sparked a saint-like feeling in me. The happy friends lit up my joy and let it surface. The confident friends made me cocky and strong. And my closest friends made me a better person.
In short, if you come to the sixth period lunch, you’ll find me sitting in my circle of friends. I’ll be laughing and talking and smiling. I’ll tell a joke or I’ll laugh at one. Maybe I’ll tell a story of something that happened to me or listen to a fun or hard day my friend has been having. You won’t see a sullen, moody girl. You’ll only see radiance: The radiance that shines because of my friends.