Before my family moved this summer, we spent a lot of time rummaging through boxes of old pictures, drawings, letters, and crafts. Of these seemingly ancient artifacts, my personal favorites consisted of anything I wrote as a child, including journals, school papers, and sassy notes to my parents. Sifting through my writing, I realized that I was always rather neurotic and had strong reactions to unexpected changes. So, without further ado, here's an excerpt from a hilarious essay I wrote in third grade (with third grade spelling/grammar errors and fake names included):
The Saddest Thing Ever
Today (9-20-07) the saddest thing in my life happened to me. At the playground at school my best friend Becky Rose Johnson was talking a friend and screamed in my face. And this is what she said for no reason, "Stella get out of my life!" I said, "What's going on I didn't do anything?" My friend Olivia, told her to hang out with this other girl named Stacy. Becky kept screaming critisising stuff to me for no reason. I was crying and my face was bright, bright, bright, bright, bright, bright, briiight, briiiiiiiiiiiiiight red from crying so incredibly hard. She didn't seem to care at all. I said, " why are you critisising me like this?!" I was so angry and sad because we had been the best friends in the universe since kindergarten.
To my amusement, this rant went on for several pages. Personally, it cracked me up, but I won't bore you by typing it out completely. That being said, the highlights of the rest of this dramatically titled story include things like, "I might not even bring her to High School Musical On Ice! Speaking of it she was acting like an even snobbier version of Sharpay" and, finally, "Now it's 9-24-07 and we did just make up on Friday. We had a sleepover to celebrate being back together again. Now she waves to me in the hallway and hangs out with me at the playground for our girls only club." (Side note: I have no idea what this "girls only" club was, but I have a feeling it was just a forum for us to talk about Zac Efron and our favorite episodes of Hannah Montana.)
At the end of the day, reading all this made me think about how, despite my consistent neurosis, what I involuntarily worry about the most has shifted significantly since childhood. Whereas then I worried about my best friend becoming like Sharpay Evans, my biggest worries now are mostly about getting the best grades I can, reaching my career goals, and minimizing student debt. As a kid, I worried less about achieving things and being a functional person and more about whether or not my best friends actually liked me. What I worry about and what I take for granted have, to some degree, switched places on my list of worries. Either way, though, the things I worry about from day to day often have a way of fizzling out and being resolved like a third-grade fight.
Although my ridiculous overreaction to a playground feud mostly speaks for itself, I guess what I'm trying to say is that we should try to worry less, or at least try not to overreact to the things that worry us. Years from now, the things that irk us might seem as ridiculous as my third-grade essay.