Change is a given, people change, and people change you. Circumstance changes you. Through all this change, you stay who you are, just a different version. But none of those versions of you, are the real, the original. The before… So this is to you before.
You, before childhood, turned into responsibility, before you had to worry about anything but what games you were going to play until dinnertime. Before schoolwork got really hard, and imaginative stories became rumors. Before stuffed animals got thrown under the bed and forgotten.
This is to you before high school, before heartbreak, and before driving. Before you had 6 different teachers a year, and ten pounds of homework that kept you up until 2 in the morning. Before those people hated you, and these people were your best friends. Before lies got bigger and bigger, and you got detention for being late to class 3 days in a row. And then there was the love interest… or interests. This is to you before the butterflies made you see differently when whatever compliment they paid you, was the only thing you wanted to pay attention to. Before that crush turned into something more, turned into relationships. Before ‘baby I love you! It’s you and me forever.” Before they cheated or lost interest, or you fought every day and it just wasn’t worth it anymore. Before trust issues, thanks to the one that broke you more than anyone else had. Mind you this is just the high school heartbreak. And let’s not forget about driving. Let’s not forget how much you started to hate the person who was teaching you to drive. Let’s not forget that before you got behind the wheel, you wanted to have that freedom faster than the law was willing to give it to you. This is to you before you realized how stressful driving can be. How much work and money cars take. How many hours you had to spend in the driver’s seat before you got those “defensive driving maneuvers” down pat. This is to you before your mom, or your dad was screaming at you from the passenger’s seat, to “stay in your lane before you kill me!!” This is to you before you wanted to kill them so they would just shut up and let you drive already! This is to you before you failed or passed your license exam.
This is to you before college happened. All the applications and hundreds of dollars just to send them. Before that excruciating wait to hear back from the universities. Did you get in or not? And if you didn’t, what were you going to do? Before you chose to go to community college instead of the school you got into because it was cheaper. Before you had to break your bank to get an education that is your right to have. This is to you before teachers became professors, and were less understanding, and you really couldn’t take a sick day. This is to you before you realized how impacted every single school was, and that you are going to be here until your 80. This is to you before budget cuts.
This is to you before the real world and real people. Before you had to do everything for yourself, and on top of it all, move out of mom and dad’s house. Before, all the job applications and interviews were a bust. This is to you before the big break, the one place that would actually hire you, as an intern. Or better yet a paid intern. This is to you before the rent was due, and the refrigerator needed filling. Before you realized that clubs are a waste of time, and hangovers are getting harder to cure. This is to you before you flooded your kitchen because you put way too much soap in the dishwasher. Before you lived paycheck to paycheck.
And now, the adult love stories. This is to you before the relationships you were in got much more serious. Before being together for 3 years, moving in with each other, then realizing that you can’t stand the person you share a bed with. To you before the proposal, when you thought that they were going to break up with you, but they’re just bad liars and didn’t want to give it away. This is to you before the beautiful piece of jewelry attached to the fourth finger on your left hand. This is to you before you spend your entire life with that person, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health. Till death do you part.
This is to you before death. Before you witness 8 people die in the span of 4 years. This is to you before you have to say goodbye to your parents, or your marriage because it just didn’t work. This is to you before all the horrible things in your life, accumulated on your shoulders, and you couldn’t share it with anyone because you didn’t want to see them like you.
This is to you before life made you hard and unyielding. Before you had a clouded vision of the world and the people around you, and even yourself.
This is to you, that was brand new, that loved everyone and everything, and had no cares in the world. This is to you…before.
By Jordan C