I’m not super sure what to write here. I just feel like the year needs some sort of closure.
The room was packed with people on the last day. It was hot and sticky and we’d all been working hard [or watching Mean Girls] so we didn’t smell the best. But, as the tears started to make streaks in our sunscreen, suddenly everything was forgotten except for the people in the room. As prayers we said and thankyous were made, just continuing until we ran past time, the gravity of the situation fell on every shoulder- this was it. We were done. And we hugged regardless of how hot we were; we cried, spurred on by how tired we were; and we all left a lot later than we thought we would, unwilling to go.
I know I learned a lot and changed a lot this year. I got to do things I’ve always wanted to do but never had the chance, such as walking up to people and attempting to start genuine conversations about what they thought of Jesus. Not just soap box shouting, but actually setting aside time to allow people to express their opinions. Or getting involved in ministries I never had time for before, like scripture which has come to mean so much in such a short period of time. I had to do a lot of things I didn’t want to do. I had to learn how to slow down. There were a few times I had to admit I had done too much and pushed too hard. It turns out, mind doesn’t always win over matter especially when you’re particularly stubborn. I had to learn how to say sorry and really mean it, as people began to matter more than they had in a long time. I learned, in many ways, what I meant to people and that wasn’t always fun. I had to try and love people I didn’t like. I had to try and love people well.
And now, at the end of it all everyone is everywhere, in their own homes living their own lives. And, as much as I know people will try and meet up if they really want to, I’m also aware it’s not always easy. Facing the reality that there are some people I have come to love that I’m not going to see for a very long time is hard. Facing the reality that now I have to establish a new routine, and make new friends and fit into a new environment is really scary. But when I look around me I want to recognise that I’ve come out of year 13 different to how I’ve started it. More prepared, with more support. So, I think I’ll be okay.
I don’t know if I beat anxiety. I’ve learned to handle it better, although I still feel it creeping up on me like a black cat, digging its claws in here and there. I figure it’ll still be around to pounce every once in a while. But I also realised I can’t just wait for it- that’s being anxious about the anxiety. I know I’ve gotten better at ignoring it and soldiering on anyway. I dance at parties, I start conversations, I look in the mirror sometimes and like what I see. Other days, it’s harder. But it’s getting easier.
I went in to get friends and get to know God better. I did that.
I mind if I came out with more knowledge or if I found a boyfriend. I did that.
I didn’t go in to come out sad. I did that. But I don’t mind it so much.
So thanks, year 13.