Two Roads Diverged

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Jackie Steele, Staff Writer

I consider myself to be a pretty resolute person; I have always had a strong will, and like to have routine consistency. I listen to folk rock (I highly recommend it), read Harry Potter over and over, and I even still cry every time I watch the pep rally scene in A Cinderella Story with Hilary Duff. That may be a little eccentric, but I’m not one for change.

High school has made me wonder; why do so many people change? It’s sad to watch yourself slowly become strangers with those who you once considered to be your second family. People you once knew well deliberately avoid your glance in the hallway, or stare blankly at you without bothering to smile, as if it hurts them to be friendly. Maybe I’m the weird one, but a lot of the changes I see everyday aren’t exactly a good thing. I’ve noticed that there are generally two paths of change people choose from in adolescence and adulthood; clinging who they know that they are, or trying to be who they think they want to be. How do we know when we’ve reached the point where we try so hard to find ourselves that we realize we’re lost? And how do we know when we’re clinging too hard to who we are?

Everyone travels their own path, but it seems to me that virtue is lost on a good majority of people today. Innocence is trivial. Insincerity becomes people, and suddenly there is a major disconnect between people. What’s beneath these connections? These friendships? Because I can’t imagine it’s a whole lot. Everybody talks, but more often than not people can’t reflect their words through action. Being someone new might seem more exciting for some time, but it’s not easy to keep up appearances. Innocence is one of those things I think people try to throw away, rather than embrace. And by innocent I don’t mean dating someone, or having your first kiss. I mean keeping a sense of our foundation, not trying to reinvent and forget everything we once were.

Change is inevitable, and essential to growth. Personally, I have been challenged to change and challenged by change itself. I get comfortable and don’t like to push, because it’s easier to believe that things will happen on their own. Those resistant to change build walls to keep it out, but sooner or later they will be flooded by it. From personal experience, I’ve found that it starts with convincing yourself that you can handle it. It’s so easy to be blind to our problems, whether we purposely are or not, and it’s a disservice to ourselves to not be able to accept flaws and pursue change.

There isn’t just one way in which we can answer these questions, but I feel that whichever path you find yourself on, doing what will make you the best person you can be is vital. It’s not just about being a good person, but also the ability to recognize where we lack, and coming to terms with that. Whether you work to change everything, or seize up at the thought,  half the battle is realization. So do things that make you feel like you, eat lots of chocolate, talk to your dog, and don’t be afraid to sing alone in the car while people are driving by. Find your happy medium.