You and I go way back. You and the majority of people on Earth have a history, I suppose, but I’d like to think that our relationship is special. It’s taken me a while to learn how to love you, and yet even now I don’t really know if I can say I truly, truly love you all that much. I’ve spent a large portion of my life plucking grass out of fields or watching flowers grow through cracks on various different sidewalks and exclaiming “Change SUCKS,” expecting sympathy and consolation from whichever poor friend I’d decided to project my afflictions with life onto. But I guess you’re the reason as to why I’m such a firm believer in the saying “everything happens for a reason.”
The first time you played a major role in my life was when my brother was born. You butted your ginormous head between me and my parents, leaving seven-year-old me to deal with the consequences of being left alone for the first time in my life. The presence of a brand new, screaming, but admittedly adorable baby in my life changed everything. I went from having everything handed to me on a silver platter to my parents not having time to marvel at my beautiful Crayola masterpieces.
I think any seven-year-old would agree with me when I say that not being given attention is miserable. But now, that screaming, attention-sucking monster is probably the most important person in my life. My brother has turned my frown upside down more times than I can count, and has taught me how to make any car ride interesting, how to be calm even when I want to pull my hair out, how to make light of any situation and so much more. Thanks to you, I’ve learned how to be the best sister I can be.
The second time you danced your way into my life is when we moved to the East Coast in second grade. I went from eating lunch outside, having ample time for recess and having early dismissal every day to eating in a giant cafeteria in a two-story elementary school eight hours a day. Being eight years old and in a completely different state, both physically and emotionally, wasn’t the easiest, to say the least. But you did teach me how to be adaptable. You taught me how to make friends, and how to embrace my own identity.
As the years passed, you followed me. Somedays, I think you’re like the gum that’s always stuck to the bottom of my shoe, sometimes surprising and always unwanted. But now, I’ve learned to see you as a loved stuffed animal or a best friend of sorts — you’re a constant, almost comforting presence.
You’ve stuck with me through the awkward years of middle school, when I was trying to figure out who I was as a person and who I wanted to surround myself with. You stuck with me through getting braces and then (thankfully) getting them off, through making friends and then losing them, through getting straight A’s and then losing those too.
I once read a quote that read something along the lines of “change is the only constant.” For a while, I’ve always thrown my hands up in frustration at that quote and at you. I’m a big fan of being comfortable, and oftentimes, you’re the complete opposite of comfortable. But looking back, I’ve come to realize the lessons you’ve taught me and the people I’ve gotten to meet because of you. Without you, I wouldn’t be who I am. So I have to say, I love you, and I’m glad you’re my only constant. I look forward to a lifetime of partnership with you.