Within me

Haley Bunnell, Featured Columnist

     She used to sit on the monkey bars, eight feet in the air and look at the world below. The students squirmed like ants chasing each other, and she watched with solitude. She was worry free, never afraid of getting hurt or falling. When she fell off the swing, she got up and began to swing even higher.  She was oblivious to her surroundings and the dangers of the world were unknown to her.  She was pure, innocent and beautiful. She craved adventure and love. In some ways she and I are very similar, but in other ways we are different.

     She used to lie on the ground for hours, the clouds circling around her, day dreaming about riding a horse in the green pastures filled with flowers.  She was a story teller, a visual painter. Unlike her, my thoughts are full of worries. Fears of what people think of my clothes, thoughts of how I am going to fail my history test, hopes of what could be, or how life would be if I didn’t do this or that. I am a worrier, a constant nail biter.

    She jumped at the opportunity to share her skills. Whenever her mom had friends over, she would stand on a chair with her red cassette player, jamming out to Wheels on the Bus. She craved to be the center of attention and wasn’t scared of it. In second grade she sang Lean on Me in the Talent show in front of the entire elementary school. Not one butterfly was in her stomach. I, on the other hand, get frightened when I attempt to sing in front of others but thoughts of, “What if I am not good enough?” and “What if people laugh at me?” come up. My knees start to shake and my mind fills up with so many thoughts that I forget the words.

     What I would give to be her. To at least be like her. I don’t know where she went. It’s like she jumped off the surface of this earth, and only her shadow is left. Once in a while, however, I get a glance of her. Not very often am I in her presence, but when I get the opportunity I definitely shine.  It is like every worry is washed away and I can just soar like a kite in the wind. We are one. We are united.

     She joined me last summer, when I was faced with my biggest fear- heights. I stood on the edge of a 30 foot cliff. The water clashed against the rocks below me. Thoughts that I couldn’t do it, that it was too dangerous, absorbed my mind. I felt uneasy just staring at the space that separated me and the water below.  At this point, I knew I couldn’t just turn back. I needed to do this for me and for her. She was right next to me. I could hear her whispering, “You can do this. Remember the time you were invincible. Be her again.” I knew she was completely right. I counted down, “Three, two, one” and took my leap of fate. I screamed at the top of my lungs as my body flew through the air. She and I shared the biggest smile, as we hit the shimmering water. We stayed under the water for what felt like eternity. I knew that everything was alright, and that there was nothing for me to worry about. As we came back up to the surface, I felt so proud and happy. I did it. We did it.

     She comes and goes, but deep down inside, I know she is still within me. I can do anything I set my mind to. I can be happy, live life to the fullest and explore the world. No fears or worries will hold me back anymore. I am invincible.