Last weekend's adventure to the Las Vegas Strip alone was a great photography experience and also a chance to eat pizza. It is always pizza time.  Photo Credit: Alex Nedelcu

Last weekend’s adventure to the Las Vegas Strip alone was a great photography experience and also a chance to eat pizza. It is always pizza time.
Photo Credit: Alex Nedelcu

There are many aspects of the world and everyday life that make you nearly want to rip out a few hairs and spend an afternoon crying. On the other hand, a lot of aspects of life are beautiful and worth living. So much of teenage life is based upon co-dependence on another individual, whether it is a best friend, a significant other or even a prom date. At times it feels as if our separation from people or places are more hurt-filled than they should be.

I learned to become an independent individual when my parents split two years ago. Not only was the divorce mildly traumatic, it was also a personal reality check. Suddenly there was one less person living under the same roof as me, and though I did not feel much of a difference, a surplus of life factors changed for me. Nurturing my mom, as well as taking care of my brother, taught me lessons in finding my center and creating time for myself that would ultimately benefit me.

Sure, it was tough to overcome the fluctuating moods between the two people that contributed to my birth. It was even tougher to mediate the fights and arguments, until one day I decided to just let it go. A divorce is only between two people when they do not have kids. Children complicate the picture a bit, but I decided my complication days were through. Upon my decision to stop the negativity from dragging me down, I let a lot of my past friendships and relationships go as well. Simply put, I did not feel as if anyone truly understood.

[vision_pullquote style=”1″ align=””] Lastly, always carry a good book wherever you go. [/vision_pullquote]

The experience taught me various life lessons. For one, family certainly is forever. Whether one is fond of their folks or not, they are there eternally. Also, selfishness is not always a substandard attribute. I learned to be selfish with my “me” time in order to keep my sanity. Lastly, always carry a good book wherever you go.

My love for literature started around this time last year. When a book opened, my life was on standby. All of a sudden, it was not about little old me crying, but Jane Eyre and Pretty Little Liars (all thirteen books in the series) and books that people have never even heard of. The world I once knew as miserably bland suddenly turned to a concoction of letters, which then turned to words and then books. I found the same comfort in books that I once found in individuals and that comfort was able to compensate for all the emotional back-up I had endured.

My freshman year of high school, I had one fear: walking alone in the hallways. My mind could not possibly conceive how people walked solo to places and not be ashamed to be judged by a passersby. This time last year (as a sophomore), I attended my first movie. Alone. Much like literature, the exhilaration of going to a movie alone pleased me unlike any other. I became a bystander of people in relationships, people on first dates, and lone people, much like myself. I began to conceive small stories about every person I saw: my outside take on the outside world. It was not exactly me against the world, but rather, I coexisted with it.

My isolation taught me to build walls so not many human beings could bother me as much as they did in the past. Two years have almost passed, but I am still required to act toward unfair treatment from people. I still am shot down by others, but I now know my resolves. I am not completely healed. I still dwell over the “could-have-beens” and the “should-have-dones” of my teenage years. I will say it firsthand: I have missed out on a lot of “great” parties due to my literature binging. The emotional torment of years past was worthwhile judging by the wisdom I have earned.

I still make up solo projects (which are writing or photography-based) and take time away from my family and friends. This is not a sign of ignorance or incapability of being a friend, as I do not close myself off completely. My friends and family understand about my desire for solitude and they respect my wish when it is addressed. I no longer worry about people judging me about eating alone or sitting down alone with a great piece of literature. I coexist with the world in my solitary bubble and I am content.