This school year started so ordinary. If someone told me back in September, “Hey! I’m from June of 2020. Here’s what’s up. The U.S. almost went to war with Iran! LOL the United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union! Half of Australia was decimated by bushfires! City-sized swarms of locusts jeopardized the wellbeing of ~10 million South Africans. Widespread protests are rocking the U.S. after the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. Heads up about the whole pandemic thing! 375K people have died, mass amounts of people are in grieving, and the economy hit record lows. Speaking of records, May had a record-breaking 59 mass shootings. Best of luck with the remaining 7 months,” I’d split. From Earth. Probably search the solar system for the newly confirmed UFOs floating around just to slip out of Earth for a while. On that note!
The night before the first day of school, I was texting Zadie about our goals for the year. I said, “At this point, I value my happiness over school work.” The MATURITY. Okay, looking back, that conviction faded. I compromised my happiness by taking two sciences. But, you live and you learn. As a sophomore, I made all these grand plans about attending Cornell as a Biology major. This year, as an AP Biology student, the course kicked my ass to the Moon and back. I found that I don’t want to study biology in the future. Talk about confliction- I have no idea what I want to study anymore. Knowing myself, I’ll just procrastinate deciding my major until the last second. But hey, the procrastination trait somehow never failed me. I made it to the top 3% of my class! I couldn’t be more proud of myself.
As I said before, I made an effort to prioritize my mental health this year. That entailed shutting-down my very sketchy therapy side hustle. Last year, I dedicated 100% of myself to helping others through personal crises. Whether it was helping a friend through transitioning or spending my lunches holding someone’s hand in the principal’s office, I was there. It was beyond emotionally draining. I remember reporting four sexual harassment claims in one week to Mr. Doddo. That Friday, I remember my Dad asking me how my week was. I just started sobbing, telling him about all the stories I’d heard. I never knew myself to be an optimist, but damn. I was. And that 24/7 support to others was depressing. This year, I called it off. Cue segue into “Social”! Instead, I invested in forming friendships.
LOL I love my friends. Completely and wholeheartedly. I think about them and I get brought to tears. Steph and Michael found out that if they say, “Lila, we don’t want you here,” I cry. No matter where we are, no matter the time of day. If I ever pissed them off, those assholes would MAKE ME CRY. While that’s also a testimony to them being d*ckheads, it also shows how much they mean to me. Just the *thought* of my closest friends disliking me brings instant tears. Roasting is our love language.
Those hours I used to spend with Steph and Michael are now filled with daydreams about our summer together. Beaches and sleep overs and copious amounts of ice cream. Sunset swims with Michael’s angsty playlists while Steph complains about her shoulder detaching from her body. Forcing Michael to strap-in while I drive my #2003 Subaru through the Hudson Valley, Steph’s shoulder in tow.
All in all, I love my life. Writing this reminded me of my privilege. I believe in Generation Z and our commitment to eliminating the discriminatory system that bolsters racial privilege.