High school graduation day was emotional. I had finally grown out of much of my shyness and had a number of good friends. On the last day after most of the kids left, I walked down those familiar halls; it brought tears to my eyes. I didn’t want to leave. “Wait! Come Back.” Throughout my teens, I engaged in a number of fun and development activities like, bowling, guitar, singing lessons, and skiing, but I lacked courage to reach out to strangers at school and take a little more social lead. I was more comfortable with kids in my own neighborhood. The move from grade school to junior high was intimidating. Once a school bully singled me out and accused me of making some degrading gestures at him. After class he chased me into the restroom and hit me in the mouth. It hurt my pride more than my face. And I felt sorrier for him; and for the type of life he would live if he didn’t change. A couple years later, during a youth campout another boy seeking attention threw my camping gear down the outhouse. I felt the embarrassing laughter of the guys that I wanted to be friends with, but again felt sorrier for the bully. In high school I decided to break out of my shyness and be the person I wanted to be and do it in God’s way, lifting, not putting down. I pushed myself to walk with a smile and to greet others. I tried-out for some extra-curricular activities. I was on the school swimming and diving team for a year. I didn’t win any competitions but I did add a few points to the team score. I even took a hang-gliding class, and taught skiing one year. I led-out in church activities and served in the community. With apprehension I unsuccessfully tried-out for acapella; that was scary. But I did get into a great class called Unified Studies which combined English, art, science, and recreation; resulting in great learning and confidence building activities at school and in the mountains. I even dated and went to every stake dance I could with the goal to ask every girl I could, in part because it was fun, but I was also motivated to help those who may have been forgotten. At our stake post-graduation youth conference it happened again, I didn’t want it to end. At the closing awards ceremony I won the, “Yellow Candle Award,” for letting my light shine. Throughout the event, my close friends and I sought to meet everyone. I went away a lot better person knowing that I had succeeded making people happy. I was changed.
Stories by Surnames
This is really touching. Thank you for sharing with all of us.