Growing up, I was very fortunate and got to experience one of the best things that have happened in my life thus far. I went to a sleepover camp six summers in a row starting at the age of six, and no I have amazing parents who didn’t want me to be gone that long, but I was a force to be reckoned. My brother came with me but got kicked out after two years, but that is a story for another time. From the first year to the last I was with the same girls every year. This made us form an unbreakable bond, and I still have connections with some of them to this day. The camp I went to was international, thus giving me the chance to meet people from all over the world. I met one girl named Yuna, and she was my best friend for a long time even after camp. She lives in Japan, and we would send each other packages and letters full of things from our country. We stayed in touch for several years until we fell out of contact and I have never talked to her since. Though I think about her and miss her, I am thankful for having those memories at all. I met other kids from Ukraine, Mexico, Venezuela, Spain, England, and more! I think about all of the things I learned there and the things I learned about myself at a young age. I learned I loved rock climbing and hated photography. I learned the cliques of people and popularity hierarchs were everywhere, not just school. And most importantly, I learned that by being myself, I have the most fun.
Who are you? Who do you feel like? What does that person feel like doing? Are there only one of you? Two? Maybe even more? Who am I? Most days, I know the answer. Most days, I have two answers. One that is the right answer, and the other I know is the wrong answer. I feel like I am split right down the middle, one side of me wants to follow the road society and my parents have laid out for me. The other half of me wants to say f*** that and go completely off the road at a 180-degree turn. These two roads are parallel to each other, so close that at any moment I could jump over to the other one. When traveling the most socially acceptable path, I am ever so tempted to jump over to the one that is not. However, I feel the same when I am on a route that will not be approved. One is more tempting the other, but that one is worse for me. Maybe that’s why society deems it unacceptable. Most days, I agree. I find that I am only tempted to go to the dark side when I am also feeling in a dark place. It seems like I can escape anything when I hide over there. Society doesn’t want me when I am there, and I don’t want me when I am there, my family, and my friends. I am left to self destruct.
That’s why I stay traveling the path that remains in the light. I stay where society can see me so that I can hold myself to their standards.