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For many, the summer before your senior year can evoke a plenitude of emotions and memories. For me that summer was bright red shoulders after too many hours in the Arizona heat, rich & vibrant sunsets accented with orange and magenta clouds, and black skies filled with glimmering stars. It was what some may describe as a cliche high school summer, filled with laughter, carelessness, heartbreak, and eventually self growth.

Now, one must realize that this state of bliss cannot last forever. Here I was gearing up for my final year of high school in a familiar town with familiar faces. I had grown up there, a place where everybody knew everybody and there’s a one hundred percent chance you would see someone you knew the second you walked out of the door looking absolutely wretched. Alas, things don’t always go as planned. In a series of what turned out to be fortunate events, I ended up moving an hour and a half away from my quaint little dusty town to a not quite so humble surrounding. This took a little time to adapt to, to say the least. I went from of a town where it was a constant battle crossing the railroad tracks before the train passed and made you late for school, to a place where now my main annoyance consists of what luxury car oh so obnoxiously cuts me off each morning. Yes folks, polar opposites indeed.

So, here I am, wrapping up the first semester of senior year, and lately I’ve been reminiscing on what it was like to be the new kid for the first time in my life, and here’s three things I’ve learned thus far.


1) It’s okay to be alone.

While living in my old town I felt the need to constantly be surrounded by friends or classmates, out and about, never taking a day off for myself. Don’t get me wrong, friends are good, no, friends are great, but I think it’s so important for one to be truly comfortable by themselves. There’s going to be times in your life when your best friend isn’t a bike ride away, and you have to be emotionally self sufficient. By starting off this school year only knowing one family friend, I quickly realized how much I actually enjoyed being alone. Now  I often find myself walking my grandmother’s creek where I spent some of my fondest childhood memories, or perusing old record shops downtown and then finding a quiet cafe to sip delicious cappuccinos. The serenity of it all is incredible, really.

(P.S. I may sound like an anti-social hermit; I swear I have friends..)


2) Always put your best foot forward anddddd smile.

Want to know how I made my first friend at a new school, who just so happens to now be one of my closest friends? Well, it was the first day of school and the teacher is making small talk and introducing himself and blah blah blah and he asked my name, then asked if he pronounced it correctly and I replied with a smile, “Yes sir.” The girl sitting a few seats away from me striked up a conversation the next day and we soon became fast friends. A few weeks ago we were talking about how we became so close and she told me it was because of the first day of school. She appreciated my politeness and respect towards adults and figured I couldn’t of been that terrible of a person. If I hadn’t of been polite that first day, who knows if Bug and I would of ended up such great friends.


3) Appreciate your family. 

Parents..high school.. ah yes those words constantly clashed for me. I used to be convinced I knew everything and had all of the answers. I would never heed my parent’s advice or truly take into consideration anything they had to say. Looking back, I now realize that those two are so incredibly wise, and that they want nothing but the absolute best for me. Just this year, I’ve come to terms that I don’t know everything, in fact, I know close to nothing about  this wild thing called life. I’m a headstrong individual, and if I had just learned to trust what they were saying, I would of saved myself an ample amount of trouble. This past semester I have grown so much closer to my sister as well. She and I have always been best friends, yet this year I’ve felt that we have grown together even more. My brothers as well; it finally seems like everything is coming together. Also, this is my last year in my parent’s house, so with that being said I’ve started to take advantage of any opportunity to crawl into bed with my mama, or go on breakfast dates with my daddy. Appreciate the time you have with the ones who have loved you since the start.


Here’s to one semester down, almost, and one more to go before we can really get this show on the road.

To Begin Again

AJ

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