I believe people enter our lives for a reason, and when someone molds your path, it's hard to let them go.
It was eighth grade, and I was 13 and awkward. My friends where the outcasts, the ones who later became druggies and jailbirds. All I want is to be accepted.
In walks Rachel, the new girl in my history class. She has long dark hair and perfect chocolate brown eyes. She is too cool for me, and I know it. One day someone tells me that Rachel will be my new next door neighbor. I am elated, here is my chance to fit in, to be as cool as she is.
The first time she comes over to my house, she sees what a mess I am in. She somehow understands that I am being taken advantage of by a guy. I gave in to him because he was popular, because that's all I wanted. She saved me before it went too far.
I don't think I ever told her how she changed my life by moving in next door. I didn't need to. It was clear I didn't know who I was. Rachel was a singer, and an actress. I wanted to be her, I leaned on her to find my way out of the darkness.
Fast forward three years later, to high school. Rachel is still my best friend but something is changing. She's the star of all the school plays while I sit in the background harmonizing. I still want to be her because she's always known who she is. But she is ready to be free, ready to step into the spotlight.
When it comes to college we go our separate ways. I meet my husband and get married, Rachel continues in her path to stardom. The only thing is, I still want to be her friend. How can I let go of a person who shaped my life so much?
Looking back now I wish I could change things. I wish I had realized the stage was never for me, I wish I had respected her for who she was and been my own person.
Tomorrow, Rachel is moving to New york. She is finally going to be on Broadway. She is leaving me behind for the last time. There is no going back and changing things. I wonder if she will even remember who I am by years end.
Sometimes someone comes into your life for a reason, and you can't let go. Today I am writing this because it is time for me to say goodbye, to leave my awkward insecurities in the dust. To wish Rachel well and be myself. To finally let go.