I miss middle school. I really, really do. I don’t miss it for the curriculum or the workload or anything like that, I miss it for what school used to feel like.
Eighth grade was an incredible year for me. It was very rough, of course, as every year of middle school was. Preparation for high school was ensuing and it was a pure chaotic stress-filled world. But all of us frazzled, sleep-deprived, overthinking humans were all the same way, together. School felt like a haven, because being so close with everyone made it feel safe. I would go to math, my worst subject, and because everyone was on the same boat as me, because everyone was so easily relatable, I would be laughing my head off in that class and still getting 100% because for some reason, we all got each other.
But those days, that once seemed like they were mindless and endless, are long over. Freshman year isn’t just different, it’s about a million times harder.
I am in this state of realizing that everything is changing, or maybe, rather, everything has already changed and I am supposed to just somehow magically be okay with that. I’m not okay with it. Any of it.
See, high school isn’t what I expected. It’s not because of the rigorous workload, because we have been trained for that for years now. It is because of the space. I am so prominently feeling this odd, weirdly-shaped space between me and everything that has ever made me who I am. I used to fit into that space like a crevice in a sidewalk, like a piece to a puzzle. I used to fit. Now, though, that space has turned into something oddly misshapen and too small, yet also too large, for me to snuggle into.
I looked around my school the other day, and I just stopped in front of my locker, and thought, where are all of my friends? It’s a stupid question, but I didn’t feel so stupid for thinking it. Really, I have been feeling as if my closest friend these days, is myself. I am finding it much more difficult to keep the pace with all of my friends, because we are all so busy and moving in different directions all at once. People who I was once so, almost sisterly, close with, are seeming to drift away like nothing has ever happened between us. I don’t really know how to explain it, but it’s there.
These spaces between me and my old friends, between me and my old passions and dreams, are really damn uncomfortable. And they sting, too, in a weird way. The spaces sting. I feel like I’m missing something that everyone else has already figured out. Meanwhile, I’m sitting here, nostalgic about the old family I had created for myself, that is now gone. My “person”, or multiple people, really, don’t feel like they’re my people anymore. Nothing is the same, and maybe that’s good, but I just haven’t figured out exactly how it’s good, yet.
I really hope that I do. Soon. I mean, what is there to live for if all you have is a blank space where everything you loved used to be? I have so much room for new things, but none of those new things have entered yet.
As the new (brilliant) One Direction song states, as Niall’s angelic and heartbreaking voice sings:
The spaces between us
Keep getting deeper
It’s harder to reach her
Even though I’ve tried
Spaces between us
Hold all our secrets
Leaving us speechless
And I don’t know why
Who’s gonna be the first to say goodbye?