For her, finally

Little+me+giving+a+performance%2C+only+stopping+to+pose+for+the+camera

Katelynn Heilman

Little me giving a performance, only stopping to pose for the camera

Last night, as a few older friends and I entered a newer friend’s house for the first time, a miniature bird darted in with us. Throwing bread and passing sock balls between family members of hers I had never met before, we worked feverishly to get the bird back outside. 

As I doubled over alongside individuals with whom I’ve created the most memories this year, all that kept running through my mind was how confusing explaining this moment to a younger me would be. Not necessarily depicting the bird situation, more just conceptualizing every aspect of that particular collection of seconds in time. 

For some reason, I’m so proud of that day: the people I surrounded myself with, the activities I filled my free time with the week prior, and especially the outlook I had while absorbing everything surrounding me. However, young me wouldn’t be all that proud; she’d be very matter-of-fact about the whole ordeal. 

As confident as she is, I know of the ages where reservations consumed me—the years in between young me and me now. Due to these flashbacks of silence and the feeling of self-inflicted loneliness, I know how exciting it is that I’ve created new connections and that I’ve outstretched past my preconceived speculation that I was done making friends in high school. 

Little me knew I would always be making new friends.

As an avid actress and persistent performer, it would be no shock to her that I’m in the musical this year. Although this leap felt like a plunge into ice-cold water, I emerged refreshed, and after only a few days, I finally gained back a little part of the performer I once was. After an intense war with insecurity, I finally feel like I triumphed. 

With these developments and a large group of trivial things a small me knew I would do–decorate my room in a way that truly emulates me, gain some version of a fashion sense, finally speak up about my enthusiasm for One Direction, join The Central Trend, and heaps more–I finally feel like I’m where she knew I would be.

I struggle with that realization sometimes because I still haven’t ever maintained a 4.0 GPA, I didn’t do the musical my freshman or sophomore year, and I don’t know how to play the drums yet. However, I just keep having to recall that her expectations for me were never perfection, and even in the weeks when I feel grandly disappointing, I’m still living up to her hopes and dreams. 

I just keep having to recall that her expectations for me were never perfection, and even in the weeks when I feel grandly disappointing, I’m still living up to her hopes and dreams. ”

Generally, I finally feel like I’m living for her, for myself. I’m finally letting my third-grade dreams dictate who I am, who I’ve always wanted to be. Even though to me it doesn’t always feel like everything’s working out the way it’s supposed to, I know that to her it is, and that’s all the reassurance that I need. 

I’m thrilled to finally be reaching the expectations of the only person I know I truly need to impress; I’m finally at a place where I wish time travel existed so I could show her what she’s done, what she’s overcome, and who she is. I’m on an uptick; I’m truly living now, for her, finally.