Life can be a tricky thing.

I had this friend. We met in middle school, preteens with no idea of what type of people we wanted to become. We grew together into teenagers, ready for new thoughts and experiences. Fast forward to my sophomore year of high school– this friend told me we could no longer speak. They had been told to make choice. They could either be friends with me, or be with their romantic interest. In their eyes, it was an obvious answer.

This became a period of immense growth for me. I didn’t have friends at the time, so my days were spent bettering myself and figuring out who I wanted to be. I started developing my creative side, putting my feelings into art. It wasn’t the best time, but it’s one I will always appreciate.

Thirteen months later, I received an email from my old friend, apologizing and asking to become friends again. I was ecstatic; I had missed them. The bond was reborn in an instant and we picked up right where we’d left off. Everything was perfect.

However, after two weeks of emails and phone calls, I started to feel that something was off between my friend and me. I tried to ignore it. Weeks went by, until eventually, I came to the realization that it just wasn’t the same anymore.

I spent days trying to decide what would be best for me at this point in my life. It was a tough decision, but I had to recognize the truth and let this friend know that we had grown apart.

I think I grew from that, too.

While I was coming to terms with the end of a friendship, I was facing numerous other life-changing decisions. I had to decide whether or not to remain in a virtual school or to attend public school for my senior year. I had to decide whether or not to pack up my life and move across the country. My choices had domino effects that posed more questions. It was overwhelming at first, but it gave me a chance to reflect on different aspects of my life and how these potential changes would affect me as a person.

I’ve made many decisions about the person I am becoming in the last year, and I know I still have a long way to go. But the idea excites me; I want to continue through life and see the person I become. Personal growth is such a beautiful thing. We are flower buds. With the right decisions and time to grow, we can bloom into amazing people with stories to tell.

McKenna is in her senior year of high school and has already immersed herself in the world of writing. She is currently reading The Picture of Dorian Gray but continues to be inspired by Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. What she loves about being creative is putting her heart and soul into something that she can later look back and reflect on.