I read the last two essays this morning after waking up. (I'm actually lucky I've finished it by now at all. I conveniently lost Party Of One on Wednesday, the book that I'm reading for my AP Psych class.) I would have finished yesterday, except that when I sat down in the comfier (that word just looks messed up) chairs in the library and got out my book, a presentation to a group of freshmen about finding trustworthy sites started — and then Vincent got out a magazine and was talking about various things he read in it — and I saw Blake Lively on the cover of CosmoGIRL and had to read her "article" (length being one page, what?) — and we ended up giggling like mad the rest of sixth hour, as we usually do when stuck in the library at a computer or with the magazines. It's very funny, because in sophomore year he drove me mad with his jerkitude — last year, we could stand each other more often but definitely had tiffs at least once a week — and this year, after telling him of my adopted motto ("Suck it up and DEAL!"), we've just dropped the drama. Sure, I'm still flaring up with anger occasionally — this week being particularly flamey, for some reason (I blame it on the test-laden Tuesday) — but he even told me the other day on AIM:
him: you make me laugh
him: like in the good happy way
And that just made me happy.
But this isn't what I was going to write about. How did I get onto the topic of Vincent? Oh dear. Backtrack to "I would have finished yesterday" — but, to shorten that, I was simply distracted. After sixth hour, I had Literary Magazine — which beforehand, I chatted with my English teacher from last year about various grade-related stuffs, and turns out Saskia had shown him The Book! More on this in a bit — and then after that, we (being me and three other friends) saw that our freshmen English teacher was sitting in a classroom — she had retired, and turns out she is currently long-term subbing! So we chatted with her for a good forty-five minutes (which is so easy to do, she being the teacher who told us story after story and always got so off track but it was still enjoyable — and I told her how I always remember the story about the guy with the afro sitting in front of her when she went to go see The Godfather — why do I remember that one specifically?). Finally she left (go to out to eat and see a movie with her "main squeeze" as she called him before answering the phone) and my friends and I traveled towards our lockers but then got sidetracked talking to our US History teacher from last year — chatted for ten minutes and he finally left. Finally, I made it to my locker and outside and in the car and out to eat and then to my counseling session.
This is where I meant this entry to get to. I started going to counseling at the beginning of last year (my junior year) — mostly because it had gotten to the point where every morning I ended up in tears because of how much I didn't want to go to school — no classes with friends, afraid of many of the people with whom I've shared classes for years. I started going every week or every other week, and then at the end of this summer I realized that I didn't need to see her as often. Suddenly, I had less things to talk about, I was happier, I was actually talking to other people (and I have less classes this year with friends than I did last year!). Yes, Amy is actually happier!
That's why now, I look at my essay in the book, and I think wow. I wasn't happy. People could be (and can be) cruel, but I saw everything in a negative light. Now, I've learned no, am learning still — to see positively, to realize that it's not entirely my fault or theirs as to why we never were friends, but more like both. The Evils aren't evil anymore, because I've talked to them now, sat next to them in my classes and have ended up joking and laughing with them. People I thought were terrible suddenly are funny and appreciate when I compliment them on a part of their presentation for a certain class. People are actually nice. And as funny as that realization sounds, it was truly a realization. Something that took time to notice, but once I saw it, my vision changed dramatically.
I still get a little fidgety about speaking up in class, about giving presentation (although for a girl who used to say home "sick" or stutter over words or always end up in tears either way, this week's English presentation over Wuthering Heights was an absolute success!). I still get a little afraid about how these people will perceive me — but let me tell you, these fears don't consume me as much as they used to. And being able to break away from such fears is an amazing sensation.
But this leads me back to something I mentioned earlier — Saskia showing The Book to our English teacher from last year. At first, I thought, "Oh no, he's going to ask me about it...." He hasn't read either of our essays yet — both of us too busy reading The Book to let anybody else do so — but he asked me a few questions about various things. And meeting with my counselor, talking to her about the fact that maybe I'm too modest for this, too shy, she told me that maybe it's just because having this essay out there for not only the entire world to read, but classmates and teachers and parents! — she brought an obvious but amazing point as to why it scares me to have people I know read my essay. It makes me vulnerable. But maybe, just maybe vulnerability isn't bad. Now, they'll know how I felt those freshmen and sophomore years — maybe they'll realize that I wasn't some weirdo but somebody who was simply afraid and unsure. The thought that my teachers want to talk to me about The Book — are proud of me! — shouldn't push me to hide away, but should allow me to smile and thank them and be ecstatic and share stories and thoughts. I don't need to be hiding it away in my backpack — I need to be showing my teachers, letting them read my essay regardless of how personal and raw it is — because they are people who are excited that me, a student of theirs!, is experiencing this success. I need to some day allow my parents to read it, because I'm their daughter, and shouldn't they have some insight into years of my life in which I was hollow and angry? I need to let people read it, and understand that though I've grown since I wrote it, though I've changed my viewpoints on life, it's still me, and it still is personal, it still makes me feel vulnerable, hearing comments made about weight still makes me cringe. But I can't hide that away any longer. I've got to let it out, now. It's okay to show my soul to the world.
This book is amazing. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to let it out of my sight.