Home Is Where the Heart Is

Think of middle school. Try not to cringe.

The reason I say this is because for myself, and for most people I know, middle school is our most embarrassing time period in our past. (I feel my face turning red even just thinking about it.)

There were braces and Hollister t-shirts that were so simple and boring but cost a fortune. There were crushes, AIM profiles and giggles exchanged next to vending machines– attempts to talk to cute boys from class. There were angsty pop-punk lyrics written in your math notebook and Jonas Brothers posters hanging in your locker (maybe this was just me, but humor me here.)

I think of that time and feel utterly astounded that I had any friends at all, never mind many of the same friends that I still consider some of my best friends now. I stop and think about it and realize that my friends at the time were just as cringeworthy as I was.

We were all navigating “teenage years” and constantly changing social hierarchies. We were coming to terms with our bodies as “adults” and feeling more emotions than we thought possible at such a young age. Life was starting to become real, at times too real, which is why we whispered to our friends over a bag of Doritos at 4 a.m. on Friday nights.

And I think there’s something so inherently beautiful in that. The friends I cried on the bathroom floor with when I was thirteen over a bad report card became the people I turned to when I had my first broken heart. They were the first people to call me out when I lied about being okay, because they had seen me in middle school when absolutely nothing was ever okay.

Friends that you have grown up with just fit you so perfectly. You were shaped and formed all throughout your childhood and adolescence and during this time you were surrounded by people that slowly filled the cracks with laughter and salty snacks. When you are an “adult”, or at least you are told you are one, these friends have already been cemented, a foundation so strong and unforgettable that it can never be ripped apart.

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