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The Saber

RNE News

The Saber

RNE News

The Saber

    Alyssa Amaker

    Alyssa+Amaker

    I’m a coward.

    I think we all are deep down, but I have the courage to admit it.

    As a kid though, I could never really accept it. In the fall during school, my friends would mention the State Fair in conversation and I’d just immediately shut down.

    When they’d ask if I wanted to go with them, I hid behind my “fear of roller coasters” even though I had never been on a real one before.

    It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go— I mean the fair was the perfect place for me: it involved cotton candy, rigged competitions, and enough people to run into those cousins you hadn’t seen in years.

    But my fear wasn’t of losing arcade games, or of what people thought about me, or of eating too much sugar. I was just afraid that I’d have to leave my parents’ side and present myself as… myself.

    At 18 years-old, I’ve finally learned that I’m not really an introvert, ambivert, or extrovert. Defining myself with three stupid words like that never helped anyone in getting to know me, so I’d rather not try.

    I’d say I’m more in love with finding space in a person’s heart where we can sit in silence together. And for a while, that meant finding an understanding of myself in my parents and friends. But now that I’m leaving for college, I see the versions of myself that I’ve found in everyone around me.

    But at some point, you have to let go… to test the strength of your faith, not only in God but in each other, in who you are. I’ve always had a pretty strong idea of who I am in this world. I like to think that who and what remain in my life later on will determine what was real, what relationships were worth maintaining.

    James Baldwin once said “Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.”

    My cowardice stems from love: a love for comfortability, reassurance, and home. When you’re a senior, you pray that the people around you will keep fighting this war with you. But you’re bound by the expectations that confine you, the community you’ve far outgrown, and the school that you’ve been sheltered in for so long.

    But I refuse to let this frustration make me silent and alone.
    What makes a recluse, a recluse isn’t their refusal to step outside, it’s their inability to let anyone in.

    Popularity and friendliness mean nothing without authentic vulnerability. Be yourself fully amongst the pain.

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