Sitting under the blinding sun on the boat as its warm golden rays hit my skin, I felt so calm and relaxed. I closed my eyes just to stay in this moment for a few more seconds before bringing myself to the reality of a dream. After a few of my friends went tubing everyone decided to send me next. Hesitant, but thrilled to go tubing, I was ready for my first time. Olivia, Hannah and I get up to go sit on the tube. At this point while walking down to the tube the nervousness starts kicking in, along with butterflies in my stomach. I jump up on the tube after Olivia, sit facing the boat, visible to all my friends as they get ready to see my reaction. I slightly clasp the handle as Olivia whispers to me, “Here we go.” A few seconds after the boat starts moving I feel the tube as it starts to follow. We got tugged quickly which caught me a little off guard. The boat starts to catch bigger and bigger waves making us dance on the lake’s surface. I feel myself clasping on the handles for my life while also screaming at the top of my lungs.
All of this was so new for me. I was born in India, then moved to Hawaii, and then to New Hampshire. This moving meant that I had to adapt and make new friends. Having a shy personality didn’t help with that much either. I am one of those people who is shy at first and then I become a completely different person. In Hawaii I wasn’t the best at going out of my comfort zone, however, when we moved again I set a new goal for myself. Over time I did make a lot of new friends and developed a really good relationship with them. The only thing was that my parents barely knew my friends and their parents. So when I got the invitation to an overnight birthday party I was worried my parents wouldn’t let me go. They were also worried about food since I’m a vegetarian. They thought there wouldn’t be much to eat for me. I was surprised when they thought it was fine to let me go on this lake trip.
Here I was doing things that I had never done before, living my best life, or so it felt at this moment, with my new friends in NH. I felt the breeze and the water sprinkle on my skin as the tube moved faster, catching bigger waves. All my friends were laughing out loud at me screaming; I could tell by the bright smiles on their faces. The boat started to slow down causing the tube too as well. We get off and go sit on the boat again. After a few minutes my body started feeling sore, but it felt like a scar reminding me of how much fun I was having. Living in this moment felt so nice to get away from reality, to let myself go completely and just enjoy time with my friends.
As Americans we like to stay in our comfort zone and keep doing things the same way all time. I wonder why? We feel great after we get over our fears and let ourselves go. So why do we stop ourselves in the first place? If you never face your fear you will always carry it with you. We need to face our fears as a way to bring excitement in our life. Along with that we have to have times where we let ourselves live in the moment and enjoy it to actually make memories.
© Rashika Maheshwari. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person's teacher.