www.whyville.net Jan 31, 2010 Weekly Issue

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Do I Belong?

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Author's Note: This story is dedicated to all of my amazing friends who have helped me through moving and all my other hard times.

Have you ever thought your life was horrible? Ever felt lonely? Neglected, maybe? Like no one cares about what you've got to say? Well, I know of a girl who felt all of those things for a lot of her life. She hated her life. She ended up shutting out the rest of the world. I'm sure you've realized: that girl was me.

Back in third grade, my life was great. I was a cheerleader, and was always in the main stunt. I had plenty of friends and even a "boyfriend". I also had my close group of friends who I did everything with. I wasn't exactly "popular", but in a way I was. I didn't have any enemies and everyone seemed to like me. What more could an eight year-old want?

But then everything changed. I was walking inside with my mom when my landlord came over (we rented the house). He and my mom talked for awhile, and Mom didn't look happy. The landlord finally left and I asked my mother, "What was that about?" She answered me solemnly, "We're moving." I was in shock. What was I going to do without my friends? What was I going to do without the house that I had lived in for as long as I could remember?

I still remember the last day of school that year. My mom said she would pick me up early, so when the phone in the classroom rang, the teacher said, "Cassidy," and I knew it meant I was leaving. So I gathered up my belongings and said good-bye to my teacher. I waved to my friends and they said good-bye. Then I walked out of the classroom without a word. As I walked down to the main office where my mother was waiting, a few tears had rolled down my cheeks, for I knew that would be the last time I ever saw my beloved elementary school from the inside.

Walking into the unfamiliar house, I wondered what a new school would be like. How would I ever make friends? My life was over. I swore I'd never make another friend. That summer, my mom signed me up for cheerleading in the new town. I became friends with one girl who I found out would be in my class when school started. When I walked into school the first day, I wasn't sure where the classroom was. I would've wandered around for awhile if it wasn't for that girl sitting outside the classroom calling my name. That was my first feeling of comfort in the new town: I'd have someone to sit with when we walked into class!

But it's weird how life works. Somehow I grew apart from that girl and made other, less "popular" friends. We were very close in fourth grade. I felt like I belonged just a few months into the year. Then, in fifth grade, I made a new friend. She joined our little group right away. There was usual drama, with a girl who claimed I was "stealing her best friend", but I didn't care. I fit in in that town. I was happy.

In sixth grade I made a few new friends because it was middle school so we changed classes. Also the two elementary schools merged into one middle school, so there were new people. Two of the new friends also slid into our group until it consisted of 6 people, including me. We called ourselves VECSEL (pronounced like it looks: Veck-sell). It stood for the first letters of each of our names. I had my enemies, but all in all, my life was pretty good. Until it all changed.

In the middle of the year, my dad stopped by my house. He claimed he was "just stopping by", but I knew differently. He never came unless it was to pick me up to drive to his house. We had dinner, then he said, "We need to talk." My parents sat me down on the couch and told me that we were moving. I was hysterical. I darted into my room crying and called up my best friend. "Erin," I told her, trying to hold back the tears, "I'm moving." She was as upset as I was. I told all my friends at school the next day. Through the rest of the year (I got to finish out the school year), I was constantly asked by my cheerleading team members, "Are you trying out for the team next year?" My answer was always no. When they asked why, I simply said I was moving.

On my last day in school, I was crying slightly throughout the day. During English, my teacher, who was amazing, told the class I was moving. I was showered by, "Where are you moving?" and "Bye!" by the girls in class. A few guys said bye, too. My friends from VECSEL threw me a good-bye party full of laughter and hugs. They even made me a cake. It was a lot of fun, although inside I was hysterically crying. I had amazing friends. How was I going to survive moving again?

Well, I did survive. Not happily, though. There was no cheerleading in my new school, so at the start of the school year, I didn't know anyone. No one talked to me as I trudged through my classes and sat at the end of the lunch table. The next day, a girl felt bad for me sitting alone and invited me to her table during lunch. I was so grateful. I sat at the table for a few weeks, never really making friends, until a girl asked me to sit at her table. And I did. Now she and a few people at her table are some of my very good friends.

Through the first, dreadful weeks, I did make one friend. She was awesome. She never cared what I looked like or what I wore. I'm still friends with her and I always will be, no matter what. She doesn't hang out with my other friends, but I'll never ditch her. She was my first friend ever.

Meanwhile, I still had all of my three best friends from my first town. I never saw them except on their birthdays, though. The people from VECSEL are still my friends, but only two are still my best friends. I grew away from the S in VECSEL, which is weird because she was the one who I met in fourth grade, after I stopped hanging out with the one from cheerleading. I thought nothing would ever come between us. But apparently moving a few towns away was enough. But two of them are still there for me.

I was miserable, though, even with my friends. I don't belong in this new school. I never will. But I'm going to be stuck here for the rest of my school career. But I have realized something: I'm lucky. I made friends. I have friends. Some people don't have any friends. I have a family, too. I have a mom, a dad, a sister, and a brother, not to mention my pets. Some people don't have that. I realized that I should be happy.

And I am. Most of the time. Deep down, I wish I were still in my first town, but I am getting over it. I'm starting to feel like I will belong in this new school. It'll happen . . . I've just got to give it time. In the meantime, I'll do my best to be happy. Hey, I'm already cracking up with my friends during class over stupid things. If that's not friendship, what is? I don't need to be popular. I think I really do belong. With my friends. I don't care what those "popular" people think of me. That's all you need. Some really amazing friends and you'll belong anywhere.


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