Learning to accept the things I cannot change
One thing my four years of high school have taught me is that nothing ever goes the way you think it will.
I'm a prime example.
This past Tuesday, I underwent my second hip surgery in 2 years. The summer of my sophomore year I tore the cartilage in my left hip and had it repaired, and I did the same thing to my right hip this year.
We don't really know why it happened, but it did.
Isn't that the way most of life goes?
High school has really been like that for me. So many things have happened - things I never expected, but things I had to learn to embrace. Throughout my high school career, I've undergone a clinical trial for my declining eyesight, I've had to drop courses I've been excited to take, and I've had two hip surgeries.
So, not the easiest of paths.
I'd like to think that taking a path you never planned on builds character; you have to learn to adapt to a totally new way of life.
Having eye surgery at 16 years old was definitely not in my plan, but it was something that I learned to deal with and adapt to.
If you know me personally, or even if you've read any of my past columns, you know I'm not the greatest at adjusting to change. Over the past few years, though, I've had to do it somewhat frequently, so I've gotten somewhat accustomed to it.
The one thing that doesn't go away, no matter how many times I've experienced changes in my life, is the frustration. Frustration, not necessarily with why things are changing, but with the way change ripples out across your life.
Take hip surgery, for example — even though I'd done it once before, I wasn't any less frustrated with the process.
This time around, surgery was during homecoming week. I was frustrated — this is my senior year! I want to experience all of these high school traditions for the last time.
I ended up feeling well enough to watch the homecoming parade, as well as to gather for group photos with my friends before the dance on Saturday; a nice end to a somewhat sad week.
After missing all of spirit week, as well as my last homecoming football game, I was excited to even be able to take part in any of the festivities I missed.
But even the few things I could go to made me sad. I was frustrated that every single one of my homecoming photos has crutches in it. I was sad that I had to cheer on all of my friends from the sidelines of the parade rather than be with them.
Most of all, I was frustrated that this homecoming week I had envisioned for myself was mostly spent in bed and in pain.
The best thing that having to deal with change has taught me is that you might as well embrace it.
There wasn't anything I could do to change the fact that I was having hip surgery. There wasn't anything I could do about missing homecoming week.
So I tried to make the best of it.
That's all we can do. Next time you're facing change in your life, I implore you to think about this statement I remember when I'm frustrated with change:
If there's nothing I can do about it, why am I so upset about it?
I'm not the greatest at adapting to new things, and maybe you aren't either.
I'm hoping we can all change.
Alyson Johnston is a senior at Wilsonville High School
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