It’s hard to work at a high school. It’s hard to be around kids and know they’re going through shitty things. I see this one kid, Nolan. He’s so much like me. He smiles and is a goof who makes people laugh. He’s so intelligent in his humor as I am. And while watching him, all I can think is about how bad I feel for him because I can see his sorrow masked by his smile. His eyes are calling for help. Every time he makes someone laugh and every time he laughs, I can see a cry for help in his eyes. It reminded me of me. He’s dissatisfied. Verbal abuse from his mother. Never feeling good enough. He has older siblings who did well. There’s another girl, Sarah. Her mother is a lot like Nolan’s. She’s pushy and shallow. She smiles and laughs things off, but I can see in her eyes. We’re all the same. So when I see them struggling with who they are and being accepted it breaks my heart. I just want to pull them aside and tell them not to worry, give them a joint and tell them to wait it out. It took me so long to get to where I am. Once I gained mental independence from my parents, I began to move forward. I no longer worried whether or not they’d accept what I chose to do. I no longer worried about their opinions or the opinions of others. I made choices for myself. It’s hard to explain and this thought is incomplete, but damn.