Advanced Essay #1: That Was Then, This is Now


My intention for this piece was to touch on the importance of learning to let go of the past. I also wrote about the ways in which our perceptions of reality can change immensely as we grow up. It deals with coming to terms with growing apart from people, and how that is a part of life, and it happens to everyone. I am mostly happy with the way I reflected on my larger ideas, and how my scenes of memory tie into that reflection. For the future, I would like to improve the overall flow of my writing, and use even stronger descriptive language throughout.

That Was Then, This is Now

“Bedtime!” Wearily, I began the three-story hike up to our bedroom. With each tiring step, I dragged my hand along the unfinished wooden banister. My brother was already upstairs, getting ready for bed. I reached the final step, and moved toward our room. The thought of climbing into my bottom bunk was increasingly welcome.

All of a sudden I heard a noise. It was a monster! Its voice came booming from my bedroom. Terrified, I started to move back towards the staircase I had just ascended, but right then the monster came out of my room and tried to attack me. It became evident that the monster was my brother. Not reassured, however, I proceeded to let out my loudest scream, as the monster’s hands reached for me. Any trace of my exhaustion disappeared as I sprinted back down the stairs I had previously struggled to climb.

“Daaaaaaddyyyy!” I ran as fast as my six-year-old legs would carry me, fearful tears welling in my eyes. “Victor’s pretending to be a monster again!” My heart pounded faster. My dad met me at the bottom of the stairs and I ran into his protective arms. “It’s okay, Ruby, he won’t hurt you.” My brother followed me down the stairs, laughing. I was unconvinced that the monster wouldn’t hurt me, but as my dad carried me back upstairs to bed, I regained my desire for sleep.

As children, our perceptions of reality are intertwined with our imaginations. What we see as possible is not always true, just as I believed my brother to be a monster when he clearly was not. When we are older though, we gain a more firm grasp of what is feasible, and we become more accurate with our ability to set reasonable expectations. Similarly, when we are young, our future plans are easily formulated, yet difficult to maintain later on.

I used to dream of opening up a cafe with my best friend. Our plan was to finish high school, go to culinary school in New York together, and then share an apartment with our two dogs. After college, we would open our storefront. Our best sellers would be our smoothies and grilled cheese sandwiches. It seemed the perfect plan at twelve. I thought that I could have my entire future set in place, unwaverable. But waverable it was; and some time after my pursuit of the culinary arts ended, my seemingly undying relationship with my best friend began to fizzle. It took me a while to begin to take any notice of this, but once I did, I knew that I had to come to terms with it.

As time went on, I came to accept the fact that we had both found new friends, and that I was no longer dependent on that one friend. These new friends were all I needed, and at times it felt as though my best friend had become just a distant memory. At first, this was a dismal notion, but I now recognize that these distant memories of my best friend have faded beautifully. Everyone has at some point outgrown a relationship, and people are quick to wish that past relationships were still present, but all relationships are still part of a person’s journey. My friend and I are different people now then we were as children, but we were still essential parts of each others’ lives.

As people, we must learn that just as our relationships shift, our conceptions of how the future will fall into place is altered. Difficult as it may be, we must all part with people and places that we cherish, and then be able to rebuild ourselves stronger. And this process of letting go of relationships and ideas with grace is one that all people must learn to do.