Metamorphosis, By Sarah Lehman
By Sarah Lehman
Second grade was the beginning of a new era for me. I had just changed schools for the first time and, at first, was nervous but quickly felt as if I had found my safe place to learn in a fun environment. School suddenly became a fun and safe place to be. I met amazing people who were kind and supportive, who continuously encouraged me to become my best self, striving to always improve in everything. It wasn’t more than a few days after school started that I found three of my best friends for life, or so I thought.
Spending time with my three best friends was the highlight of my days in second and third grade. We did have some differences, but we always found a way to come to an understanding with one another. This made sure we always had fun playing together during recess and lunch. In fourth grade, however, the scenery changed. We decreased in number, from four of us to only three. After Sophia left, school felt so different. We didn’t talk much anymore, which shocked me, but also taught me about the changes of life. I began realizing people sometimes may have the best of intentions and, yet, change in such a way that they no longer desire to connect with me. The hardest part was learning to apply this to my life with those whom I thought were my closest friends. The once-filled classroom now felt partially empty. Thusly, real life began.
Fourth grade was a tough year for me because of drama. There was so much drama with Martha and Amy. It felt as though I had to grab the attention of my OWN friends! As though I began to disappear in the background, with life constantly throwing tornadoes at a leaf. We began becoming frustrated with each other about how much time we should be spending together to nourish and grow our friendship, compared to how much time we actually spent together. Even within the time spent together, not much of it was quality time. Instead, we were consumed with anger and bitterness. Martha started spending most of her time with Eli, a guy at our school. Amy and I brought up the fact that she wasn’t spending time with us and that she was ignoring us. Her solution was to make a schedule reflecting with whom she would spend time.
It came to a point where Martha disregarded the schedule and spent her time only with Eli. She became consumed with his life problems, including the minutia of his family issues. It was hard to be around. In retrospect, I should have separated myself from that situation with her. However, without that period of my life, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
After school one day, my Mom took me to a snowball stand near the school as a treat. I saw Martha and Eli as we pulled up to the snowball stand. When they noticed me, they ran to another side of the building and hid under a picnic table. Ouch! That stung in a way that left a mark. I was hurt, because I didn’t go there to see them. I didn’t even know they would be there! I went there as a treat and reward for my new-found growth and investment in school work! When I talked to Martha about it the next time I saw her, she said they thought I was there to spend time with both of them. What?! I see so many problems with not only what they did, but also why they acted that way. That was the point in the year I realized that drama was consuming my life and controlling more than it ever should, seeping into my every thought.
In fifth grade Sophia and Martha were no longer at my school. It was down to just Amy and me. This made me think we would be growing closer. However, in reality I felt as though I was becoming more of a spectator of her life than someone in it, someone who mattered to her. When we changed schools, things only shifted more. She became distant, despite all our shared thoughts, memories, and promises. I began having a hard time contacting her, along with others who were supposed to be my friends. I tried talking to them about still being friends. Moreover, every time I talked to them, they always said they wanted to continue being friends and make time to spend together. However, I never saw any effort from them, so I realized that I have to live my life for me. If they want to be friends later in life, I would consider it if I am not the only one investing in the friendship. True friendship is a two-way street: a balance of giving and receiving, a series of compromises. Since middle school, I have only seen my old friends a few times. Each time, it has always been small talk.
Going through all of this, I have realized that my interpersonal life is like a tree, and relationships are leaves. Some leaves stay longer than others, and that’s okay. Everyone has something different to teach me about life. I finally realized that school has so much to offer. Every single class, teacher, and classmate had a different perspective and way of thinking from which I could learn. I began using the gained knowledge to understand the way the world works in a deeper, more intellectual way. This led to a wiser and more open way of thinking. I am as a caterpillar, and my experiences are helping me on my adventure to becoming a butterfly.