I Have Shaped My World And My World Has Shaped Me
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I Have Shaped My World And My World Has Shaped Me

I grew to understand that my roots are strong, but I am stronger.

I Have Shaped My World And My World Has Shaped Me
Ryan Parks

We were covered with scratches and bruises, but we did not care.

We did not care about the bugs, or even the dirt. The dirt in our hair, under our fingernails, and in our socks. My world revolved around my best friend and my brother. Every day we overlapped footprints and recreated trails. We slipped in the same bunny holes we always came across, tilting our small heads to see if the family of fluffy tails was home. Baylee was always the tallest, so she was the leader. She was so brave, knocking down sticker bushes that blocked our path. We once discovered gravel on the forest floor, following out of curiosity.

We found a house long since abandoned, evident that no one had bothered to embrace the brick among the trees. I asked if we could go inside, but Cole said no. Maybe he was trying to protect me. That is what big brothers are for, right? The forest is a big, scary place. But our parents weren't worried when our rooms were vacant because they knew we were somewhere with more adventure. Somewhere the trees could teach us strength, and the streams flowed with hope. Somewhere we could discover ourselves with every new turn, somewhere we could grow with every piece of foliage.

Cole eventually grew taller than Baylee, so he became the leader. But then he outgrew us. He moved to a concrete jungle, choosing to explore the manmade world. Baylee left too. She packed her bags in pursuit of a new kind of learning – the kind the trees just couldn't teach.

I entered the forest again years later.

No one since adopted the shack on the uneven road, no one told the weeds to stop growing. The trails hid, and footprints ran away. I realized that I no longer had anyone to hold back branches for me when venturing through the forest. It was finally my turn to leave my own footprints, create my own trails, and become the leader I had always hoped to be.

I have shaped my world, and my world has shaped me.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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