?I was always the kid who didn’t talk. The kid who watched the world go by. I was the kid who acted apathetic just so I didn’t have to get involved. I didn’t want to be seen. I just wanted to float by. A ghost. But gradually, I guess something in me changed. Flash. Bang. A spark lit me up from the inside. The girl who once was transparent shined. The weirdest part was that, all of a sudden, I realized I’d wanted to be seen all along. I just never wanted to ask. Not that anybody straight up “asks” for attention. In most cases, attention is something you have to grab out of thin air. Either that or you stumble into the lime light by accident. A gentle request for attention is never quite effective though. I guess I always knew that. It just took me a few years to get up the courage to put myself out there and really, truly, demand that I be seen. A few years, I’d say, and one good friend.

I met my best friend Amelia when I was 8. She wasn’t my best friend back then, but she was my friend. She was kind of like me. Shy, studious, and a little silly- but only once you got to know her. Amelia didn’t stand out from the crowd any more than I did. We were very similar. And so we became friends.

By 7th grade, we were pretty much one and the same. We shared all of our interests and spent all of our time with each other. We molded and blended together. I picked up some of Amelia’s traits and she some of mine. And, during the process, Amelia and I both managed to obtain a little something we’d lacked when we were younger- boldness.

I can’t name a specific time when it became apparent to me that I was becoming more outgoing. Like I said, it was gradual. But now-a-days, I’m not so afraid to stand out. In fact, I’ve pretty much decided that fear is not an option. I won’t take fear for an answer- if that makes any sense. No fear is my mantra.

I will say that I didn’t lash out on my own right away. For a long time, I n…

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