Where I grew up, your past follows you everywhere. Good, bad, and ugly, it’ll always be there. Either tearing you down or making you stronger. My past involves a lot of misconceptions, which turned into plenty of misunderstandings, and resulted in a plethora of embarrassing moments for me.
Last year I was offered two positions in a different city. I was so excited about the opportunities but it required me to up-root myself from everything I knew and loved in Philadelphia. I had to quickly prepare to be a part-time college professor and full-time researcher; the goals I have set myself were finally happening. When I told my family and friends about the new opportunities and the relocation, they were so excited for me. Their excitement and support for my career goals meant so much to me. I was so proud.
So here I am. Sitting at a lunch table in high school, waiting for my friends to arrive, when all of a sudden they come. Who are they? Well not to be rude, but how do you not know who they are? They are Ms. Nervous, Anxiety and Mrs. Fit In. They love to come and talk to me when I am all by myself, and they have the audacity to come talk to me when I am with people too. The nerve of some people. Anyways, there I am sitting alone, trying not to be looked at or be weird, then my friends walk over. I say hi, they say hi, it's great. The peak of my social existence. Then we start going into conversation like usual but there's a weird thing going in my mind, they are making jokes and I am not finding them funny but I'm laughing. Why? I didn't ask myself that at the time, but should I have?
We are all aware that not everyone we encounter will remain a part of our lives. Occasionally people move away, unfortunately some are taken by nature. Some friendships face a bitter end. Then there is also the simple reason that you grow apart. I want us to focus on the latter.
I really had no idea of what I was getting into when I signed up for college. I was totally dumbstruck at the notion of the fact that I was no longer in high school. I was now in the big waters of serious business. I was in with the big boys and girls now. If I was going to become a teacher, I needed to get started with and deal with reality and not dreams. I told myself that if I worked really hard and got my Bachelors degree, I could still show up Eddie. I wanted this mainly for myself. The race had begun. All the time, I knew that he was having the time of his life with me not being around. I had that feeling myself. I was happy for most of my last year. Now, it was his turn. I could practically hear him throwing a party all the way from Middle Village. He must have been in seventh Heaven knowing that I wasn’t going to be around for a while. I could only imagine how happy he must have been. He took away my dream before graduation. Now, there was nobody there to rob him of his dream. I was hoping that someone would have done that to him. I was able to live with that concept up until a point.
This was probably the best September start that I have ever had in my entire life. I had one year of high school under my belt and eagerly awaited for the second. This time, the building took on a whole new look. It was as if I were a part of the place. I felt more comfortable and quite secure. The new Maurice was definitely much better than the old one.
Richard Major, he is The Valley’s Most Authentic. When I met him, I had a feeling that he and I were going to click. There was something there immediately, whether I was able to see it in the beginning or not. Rich is straight up about everything: in life, in love, in spirit, in music. Everything is truthful, straightforward, right and justified. I've honestly never met anyone like him. Immediate connections with people are rare; that's why each and every one of us recognize it when we encounter it. It's inevitable, unavoidable, and beautiful.
I think I love this one a little too much.
When I first met Kalina, I hadn't said a word to her and I was already terrified. Mostly because on a scale of one to ten she's like a twenty five and I'm a negative six. She was head guard and had been working at Soak Ya since it opened; so, that made her a million times more important than I'd ever be. And to make matters worse, I was a new guard. (And now that I'm an old guard I understand the rep that comes with the term new guard. Trust me...it's not all that great)
I had to use Cameron's full name because if I didn't you wouldn't understand the importance of this chapter. They say you're supposed to save the best for last, but I was certain that I couldn’t wait that long to write this one.
Wild is my favorite word. It encompasses a senseless, lawless freedom that I craved long before I could even breathe. Wild is the waves of the ocean, wild is the stars scattered across an endless night sky. Wild is the primal nature that grows within every human. Wild is insatiable, wild is untamable. Wild is, and will forever be, the greatest gift the world has ever seen.
I have a tendency to tell a lot of people that they're my favorite and recently I may have started a war within a group of my friends...whoops. But these five are separate from that situation. They're different. With Noah, Elizha, Paul, Mason and Cameron, it's actually emotionally impossible to choose my favorite out of the five of them. I love each of them equally and separately. Yes, I am aware that that makes no sense. The five of them mean a lot to me. I'm not exactly sure why I'm writing this chapter, everything that's being written has been bothering me for a while, so I had a feeling I'd write it eventually. Each of them has a song attached to their name. It's up there because that's a song I love that reminds me of them.