September 23, 2010
How Stephanie Became Stephanie
When we’re young, there’s always that one friend who is there to teach us the newest dance moves or to back you up when the bully of the school cuts in front of you for the water fountain. I had that friend. I feel she helped shaped me into the person I am today. She has influenced the development of my identity through obstacles and experiences she overcame or didn’t.
As a little girl, I had a friend named Jennifer who I believe went through challenges that opened my eyes on ways of life. She moved into the house next to mine when I was seven. The first day I saw her, I knew I was not going to like her simply because she was the new girl. After a few days however, we were the best of friends. We had only each other. I didn’t have any friends from the neighborhood before she moved it. We went to school together, we went to ballet classes together, she was who I grew up with.
Eventually, she moved when she started middle school. She then lived about two hours away and I rarely got to see her. Years passed and soon enough, we lost contact with each other. I honestly didn’t think anything of it because by then, I had new friends and she did too. In November of last year, I got a phone call from Jenny’s aunt. Looking at the caller ID, I got excited thinking Jenny was coming to visit. That was not the case at all. Instead, she told me that Jennifer had passed away just the day before. She died of some sort of attack. My childhood friend was gone, just like that. I did not have the words to express how sorry I was for her and the rest of the family. I was so devastated but the tears did not come out until later, when my head was resting against my pillow and my prayers were said. That night, all I could think of was how we did not keep in touch and how I hated myself for it. I felt as if she still lived right next door to me, none of that would have ever happened.