“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”
– Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey.
When I was around thirteen years of age, I met Lucky.
Back then, in the seventh grade, I was a little lost and desperately in need of a good friend. My classroom environment wasn’t exactly ideal either. Though I had ‘friends’, I never had friends. Does that make sense?
I could talk to my peers, but I could never confide in them. And, in a competitive setting where kids do nothing but compare test results, I knew that sharing secrets would only blow up in my face eventually. I wasn’t willing to exchange my sanity for something that probably wouldn’t last more than a few months, honestly.
But that was when I met her. She was a little wild, I suppose, with her frizzy hair and her fiery personality. In fact, I don’t seem to recall her with anything but a cheeky smile on her face. She was a true mischief-maker when it came to dealing with her teachers, but she was also a gentle romantic and a very loyal friend at heart.
The two of us had very obscure interests back then. Unlike our peers, we cared less for teledramas and more for One Direction and YouTube. And now, whenever we recollect how we used to be, we cringe and laugh over those bittersweet memories. But with interests as ours, it became difficult to establish relationships with the others, who were confused about how we became so close in so short a period of time.
Now that I think about it, a lot of their incredulity might’ve been derived from the fact that I was a hopeless hermit of an introvert, whereas Lucky was a true social butterfly.
What’s interesting about Lucky is that she has this tendency to draw you in. I doubt that she’s aware of it. But much of it lies in her loving honesty and in her maternal instincts, coupled with her openness and her refusal to judge those around her. She’s also a very good listener, so people tend to look for her when they’re in need of some advice.
On the other hand, I’m a certified hermit™. I don’t go outside much, and I always look a little gloomy, making it difficult for people to approach me (I think). If you knew me in high-school, you’d remember me as the kind of person who had their head buried in a book at all times, or as the kid who never stopped writing.
We’re so different. And though many years have passed since our first meeting, I still wonder how we were able to come this far while staying true to ourselves and to our bond. Maybe it’s a kindred-spirit-slash-Sagittarian thing?
Either way, I can confidently say that I’m proud of her, and of how far she’s come. I see who she is, and I can see how she used to be, and I’ll never not be surprised by how she’s found a way to stay true to herself through it all.
She’s still insecure about a lot of things, though. I can only hope that being appreciated by those around her will gradually show her that she’s much more remarkable than she gives herself credit for.
Because it takes strength to persevere in the face of adversity. It takes courage to accept and embrace your flaws. It takes maturity to understand that even though you cannot return to the way things used to be, you’ll still be okay through it all.
So, Lucky, if you’re reading this, know that you deserve the happiness you’ve been searching for. It’s okay to fall, because your wings will never sprout if you linger by the edge of the cliff, staring at the ravine longingly. And life isn’t exactly a journey that you’ll be able to get through unscathed, but it’ll be worth it.
Trust in me, and more importantly, trust in yourself. A little birdie once told me that “your greatest success will arise from the moment you have the courage to love yourself.” So, be kind to yourself.
I’ll see things through to the very end. Don’t give up.