I remember you. I remember your fears, your secrets, and your stories that spread. I remember your drama and your tears. What do you remember about me?
I’m successful now, and suddenly you want to talk to me. Suddenly you’re interested in my life and my career goals because I am at a place where I could help you with yours, if I wanted to.
In high school, you blatantly ignored me. You made 16-year-old me miserable, and I will never forget that. I forgave you a long time ago. You were insecure, too. We both chose to deal with our insecurities in different ways. I ran and hid, and you chased me, trying to tear me down so that you could feel a little better about yourself.
But now, you’re serving fast food and I’m living my dream. I’m doing what I’ve wanted to do since I was a little girl. Have you always wanted to serve food?
I remember you bragging about your dreams to anyone who would listen, and then to those who wouldn’t. I remember you talking about how you had a shot; you were different and special.
I remember sitting at the front of the bus with the teachers, while you and your friends sang their lungs out in the back and passed around water bottles filled with vodka.
I remember being scared to speak, because when I did, you laughed.
I remember growing more and more depressed every day.
I also remember finding happiness.
I took all the ambition that I was holding in and let it grow. I moved across the country, while you stayed home, clinging onto our hometown, because you felt in control there. I made friends effortlessly once I left the place where you and your circle ruled. I realized something: there is nothing wrong with me.
You have some work to do, and I hope you realize that. I hope you know that you can be so much better. You ARE better. Everyone has little bits of evil inside of them. It’s the choice to ignore those voices that makes us who we are.
I don’t know who you are now, but I know who you were. I refuse to be that way. I refuse to pick on girls who don’t look a certain way. I refuse to use my talents for bragging purposes. I refuse to be unapologetically mean.
So, I’ll help you. I won’t go out of my way and I’ll keep up a wall or two, but I’ll help you, because I want you to find the same kind of happiness that I did. I want you to find your ambitions and let them grow. I want you to smile at people, with people, and for people – the same way I have since I left.