Burning bridges and building new ones

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Burning bridges and building new ones

Zac Johnson, Entertainment Editor

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Last year at this time I was sitting in my godparents’ house in Tallahassee, Fla. I left my life, my house, my parents, my friends and my school for six months. When I left I didn’t really tell anyone, but I guess at that point in my life I preferred it that way. When I started school at BVNW my outlook was pretty negative; I hated coming to school and I hated life outside of school. I thought that would change once I started high school. I thought I would make new friends, change my outlook and maybe start doing some new things. Needless to say, this didn’t happen – I had set the bar too high and the only realistic expectation when you do that is disappointment.

Freshman year ended and I took a trip to Florida with my godparents who were moving there. I ended up meeting a group of friends there somehow, and the first week we ended up hanging out and doing things almost everyday. When the time came for me to leave, I convinced my parents to let me stay for another week. I now actually had friends that did things together and knew how to have fun. It may sound stupid but when you go from barely hanging out with the people you call “friends” to having a great time with people who actually want to be around you, it’s basically a drug.

Soon after I was on a plane back to Kansas City where I knew I wouldn’t be able to have fun like I did in Tallahassee. I knew I had to go back. That summer I visited twice, basically spending a month in Tallahassee with the friend group I was becoming increasingly close to.

When summer ended and my sophomore year started, I had already talked to my parents about whether I could move there to stay with my godparents. After a few months they agreed to let me go. Because I knew I would be leaving Kansas eventually, I started cutting off people from my life. Don’t burn bridges, you may not think the relationship matters in the moment, and it may not to you, but you have no idea how much someone else might be affected.

In December of 2014, I left for Tallahassee; saying goodbye to my parents was hard, but I was so focused on getting to Florida that it was not as difficult as it should’ve been. Shortly thereafter I started school at Leon High School, the oldest high school in Florida. Things were going great, or at least that’s what I kept telling myself. When people start to see you daily or even weekly you are no longer a novelty, and are no longer treated as such. I started seeing my friends less and less, and I eventually had to reconcile with myself that this was how it was going to be until I went home in May.

When my semester in Florida was drawing to a close, I realized that the same thing was happening to me in Florida that happened in Kansas. I knew I wouldn’t be there much longer so I stopped trying to make friends or even continue relationships I already had. When I left Rudeiger, I began to realize that to many of the people I met, I would just be one of many faces in their lives over the next few years. All I can think is that those kids are probably used to that by now, people don’t stick around in their lives long enough to really make a difference, just long enough to think that they did.

When I got back to Kansas in the summer of 2014, I realized a few things. The grass isn’t ever greener on the other side, your neighbor is just using better fertilizer than you. In life, “fertilizer” is a positive attitude. My junior year has been one of my best years, not because I sat back and waited for things to fall into place, but because I went out and did them myself. If you’re not happy with your life, running away isn’t going to fix it, and neither will burning bridges with the people who care about you. Sometimes to justify the fact that our lives suck, we have to tell ourselves that things don’t matter, but they do, and they matter to the people who care about us. Being negative isn’t going to get you anywhere, you might as well be positive because what do you have to lose?