Last year when the semester ended, I was so happy to know that I had a few weeks to myself to do whatever I wanted to. I thought it was going to be just another boring summer where I worked every day and didn’t do much after but that wasn’t the case. Living on a college campus when there aren’t students around can be pretty boring, and I’m not the kind of person to just go out and make new friends, but luckily this summer I made some pretty amazing friends who just so happened to changed my life.
Normally I am the type of person who would sit back and watch everyone else have fun. I would always say no to things I knew could potentially cause trouble in the future. I always thought about repercussions. I would never think about the fun and memories that could come out of anything I did. And this summer I met someone who changed that.
Change isn’t something I take lightly. If something is going to drastically change, I have to think about it before I continue with whatever it is. This summer a lot of things changed, and I let the changes happen. It all started when two of my closest co-workers left Mercy and moved away to other jobs.
The first change was the hardest. Thelma was an amazing person and when she decided to go to grad school out in Ohio, I thought about the changes that were going to happen in the office; a new RD mostly. Someone we had to get to know all over again. Someone who would have to learn how our office works. The day she left I cried a lot, not only because I was going to miss her, but because I knew that things were changing, and they were changing so fast.
The next big change was when Cristalyn left. Like Thelma, she was going off to a new job. This transition was a little easier, I was preparing myself for it. It had been a week since Thelma left and I was ready for the day to come. We said our goodbyes, and when the new week came, it was down to one RD and some student workers. The work load was now on one person as opposed to three and this is when I began working all the time. They constantly needed more help in the office, and on top of that, I worked another job outside of campus.
Going from working in the office to working my other job, I rarely found any down time. Then one night, I found myself working with a girl who changed my life, even though at the time I didn’t know it was going to happen.
Kayley, at almost sixteen, was the last person I expected to have such a huge impact in my life at the time. One night while working the closing shift, we started talking about something that interested both of us, and from that moment on we just kept talking. Eventually it got to the point where we were talking every day, and it could have been about anything, sometimes the most ridiculous things, but I was okay with that. But Kayley wasn’t the only person that I hadn’t expected to change my life.
I had met Eddie last year when I started working at the store and he thought I hated him. I was just shy and didn’t really talk to anyone. One day Kayley and Eddie had been working together and I was scheduled to work the next shift. I always get to work a little early and I don’t know what happened but we ended up talking for a while. There was something about the three of us that just clicked.
Throughout the summer we would hang out at least once a week, and slowly but surely I saw changes happening within me. Kayley brought out my inner kid and Eddie brought out my inner dare devil, and I began doing things I never thought I would do. All of these things that I actually enjoyed. For the first time in a long time I was having fun and enjoying spending time with people and doing things outside of my comfort zone.
My favorite memory from this summer that was out of my comfort zone was one of the best nights I had had all summer. Normally swimming in any type of water that isn’t a pool gives me extreme anxiety. For some reason, on this night I had no anxiety. We struggled to get into the water but eventually the three of us were in The Sprain, to ask why would be pointless and not very entertaining for you, but knowing that it made one of us extremely happy was all it took for us to get in the dirty river.
When we got out of the water, dried off and took the long walk back up to our cars, I couldn’t help but think about the amount of fun I had just had. There was no anxiety, just pure happiness. What was happening to me? What was I doing? Change was happening, and I was living life to the fullest. I see now as I write this that it sounds a bit cliché but to be completely honest with you I am happy I lived the life I did this summer. It has opened my mind up to so many things I could do.
Change is something all people need to welcome with open arms. It’s hard at first, especially if you haven’t always accepted it but in the long run it’s going to happen. One thing I think I may have changed my opinion on is my beliefs in fate. Things happen for a reason, and I truly believe I met these people for a reason and that this summer happened for a reason. The part of me that grew up too fast was able to get a small break this summer. I became a different person. I am more open with people and I do think it is because of these two amazing people that came into my life.
Things may have changed toward the end of the summer, but don’t regret anything that happened. Change. Embrace it. Don’t push it away. When you do you’ll never know what you are missing in life. Have a little faith that change can be good even if you don’t like it now.
“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” – Alan W. Watts