When I was 16, I went to a party with some girls. The cops showed up to bust the party, as they do with high school parties, and everyone ran. In the craziness of everyone leaving, I suddenly realized I was all alone. The girls I came to the party with had left me, and I was alone with no way to get home. They all remembered to get in a car with each other, but no one remembered me. I had to call my mom to come get me, and as she drove me home while I was sobbing my eyes out, I decided to change.
Photo courtesy of Kacie Tomita
Growing up, I was always a nice person. I was polite, I didn’t talk back, and I didn’t argue with people. I think the politically correct term is that I was a pushover. I had moved so many times that I was willing to do anything to have people just like me and accept me so that I would finally make some friends that I stayed close to. In this process, however, I lost sight of what was important to me. On that night where three girls left me in the middle of nowhere with no way to get home, with not even an apology the next day, I decided to stop being a pushover and to start standing up for what I want, and for what I believe in.
As the years passed, I became more assertive of myself and my needs, and I think people noticed. I now have friends that stick, and that I get along with well. However, I recently noticed that it’s been going the other way. I noticed that my “strong will” isn’t really about my passion, but about my need to be right because people overlooked my opinion and voice for so many years.
So how do I find my middle ground? I don’t want to push over people and force my opinion on them, but I don’t want to be left behind in the dust like I was so many years ago.
I think the answer lies in taking a step back and looking at situations objectively. Is this something I am passionate about? Do I truly care, or do I just want to be right? I know my family and friends are going to laugh about this because I constantly argue with anyone, but I promise I am trying to change my outlook. Maybe I don’t need to get in an argument over every little significant thing. Maybe I can focus on saying "You're Right, I'm Sorry."
And I just want to leave everyone with a thought: maybe some people are loud or argumentative, not because that’s how they just are, but because they weren’t heard before.