Sunflower in the Woods

Busy times, junior year. It’ll be over soon so that’s comforting. It also means that I have to start to get used to the idea of almost being done with high school. It’s hard to believe that by this time next year I’ll be graduating high school!  

This is going to sound weird but maybe there’s someone out there who can relate. A couple of days ago I realized that the “real world ” is a horrible place. Like I watch the news and I see all the war, and death, and hunger and homelessness and hear stories about car accidents and school shootings and people being kidnapped and raped. But I just realized that I’ll soon have to fend for myself in such a horrible place. 

I also realized that the problems that I’m going to face will be real. It’s not like I now face fake problems…but like, the consequences will be serious stuff and a lot of the time things won’t work out. 

I’ve heard all of this again and again from adults but it never sank in until now. Don’t worry, nothing super terrible happened to bring me to this conclusion, I just have a weird mind. 

I know I’m soon not going to be surrounded by a safety net and as much as that terrifies me, it’s helped me grow. It made me realize that even though the world is full of terrible people and it’s not “safe”, I can find hope in the fact that maybe I’m not the only one who feels this way.

I hold doors open for people. I speak the truth. I stand up for others and myself. I smile and talk to strangers just to brighten their day. I help people who can’t do anything for me. And I know I’m not the only one. I know that others think that people like me don’t exist, yet here I am. 

Last summer, when I was on a mission trip/youth retreat, the counselor at the camp gave all the students a sunflower seed to throw in the creek to show that we would let God lead us like the creek would guide the seed. I didn’t put mine in the creek. When no one was watching, I threw mine in the woods. Why? Because I refuse to “go with the flow”. I can and will grow where no one thought possible. 

True, the world is a horrible place and it has a way of hardening the hearts of people who once were optimistic. I’m not naive, I fully grasp and accept these facts. What I do not accepts is adults telling us that we’ll change once we “get a taste of the real world” or when we “grow up”. Well the world I’ve grown up and will have to deal with is a whole lot worse than the one you had to adapt to. And some of the reasons for that is because of people like you. If you have faith in humanity, faith in my generation, than maybe an inkling of humanity can actually be restored. 

So be a sunflower in the woods. Blossom where everyone doubted you could. Smile at those who look like they need it, hold open the door and realize that there are people out there just like you who are going through some hard times. Be smart enough to avoid the creeps, brave enought to uplift the weak and never stop believing that there’s good in the world.  



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