My Life

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“Come on! Speed it up! Just a bit left to go!”He was out of his mind.hell, they were both out of their minds. I was not going to be able to make it. I couldn’t remember why I had ever agreed to go with them. The weight of the excessively large un-inflated rubber raft weighed down on my back and made it feel as if I were carrying a person.We had been trudging uphill through the woods for the better part of an hour with no end in sight. The heat and extra weight had quickly taken its toll on me. I was exhausted and looked it; I was drenched in sweat, dirty, tired, and too far into the hike to dare mention going back.”Your gonna see how nice it is! Carry the boat a bit more and I’ll take it up ahead.”My friends Ryan and Rylan had made the trip before and were in good enough shape not to feel the hike. I had been promised it was worth the effort and reluctantly agreed. That they knew about this unmarked path and lake in the middle of nowhere was typical of them; both were the outgoing types who enjoyed adventurous outings and the unexpected two things I had avoided while growing up.I grew up to be a wallflower of sorts in my small world. From the time I was in kindergarten to the eighth grade, I attended a small Catholic school minutes from where I live. For nine years I went to school with the same twenty-one students, advancing from grade to grade. However, in those nine years I spent no time with my peers outside of the classroom. While I yearned to socialize with them, I criticized their activities and alienated myself out of fear.Shyness and a fear of embarrassment took control of my life. I avoided every activity and invitation in anxiety of not fitting in, of not knowing what to do, and of having no way out. As a result, my routine didn’t vary much: I went to school, did my work, got on the bus home, and stayed inside until the next day. My parents thought it was normal; they themselves had no friends where we live and thought nothing of my spending so much time alone.Before long, I managed to isolate myself almost completely. By the time of our graduation, I had developed no friendships within my class. I dug a hole for myself and accepted my behavior as “normal” and part of my personality. I wallowed in my self-pity and attempted to justify my being alone. I created an endless list of reasons, “They only like sports and I’m not the sports type,” “I’m more of an indoors person,” “They don’t want to try and understand me,” among others.Ryan and Rylan showed me I was wrong though. Although I knew Ryan those nine years, it was not until high school that we began to spend time together. He introduced me to his circle of friends and his best friend Rylan. From then on, I spent as much time as possible with Ryan and Rylan. They made me realize I wasn’t the misfit I convinced myself I was. Although our interests were varied, they nevertheless reached out and made an effort to understand me. They pulled me out of my solitude and made me feel as if I had been one of the gang my whole life. I in return made an effort to try to understand them. Often times against my instincts, I would go along with them no matter how crazy it seemed and to my surprise, would enjoy myself. However, this trip was not one of those timesI was unsure of whether I wanted to go back home or push on and arrive at our destination. With no end in sight, I threw the raft on the ground and looked back at the trail. Whether they saw that I was worn out or knew that I wouldn’t enjoy the rest of the hike, I don’t know, but just then, as I turned around to face them waiting for me, Ryan asked:”There is still a while to go and we’re still going to have to walk back…” he admitted, finally letting me know the reality of how much I still had to hike. “Do you just wanna head back instead?”I hesitated. I looked back again at the lonely woods where the sunlight didn’t reach the ground. There is no way to avoid this I thought. Looking at my friends and smiling, I lifted the raft off the ground, and sprinted past them.”No! We’re going!”

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