The Path to Maturity

Nubiana SmileyJune 22, 2022Who Am I?

The community aiding in my development has been my secondary school. Like a goldfish, I transferred from a little bowl to a massive theoretical fish tank and was flooded with overwhelming and bewildering emotions. With this unsteady footing, I lacked essential confidence within myself and quickly started to lose my own sense of identity and emulate those around me who would get the most attention, even if they weren’t the most morally directed. I began sculpting my own disfigured and imperfect image of who I wanted to be at the time, oblivious to the fact that I was already perfectly made in every way, and I did not need to alter myself but just uncover and simply understand who I am. In my first year of secondary school, I got into a lot of trouble because of my new character. I believed it would be my one-way ticket to popularity, but instead it drove me into a deep hole of confusion, as it was always a façade. And this was the beginning of a journey where incredible people I believed were placed by God at the perfect time supported me on the path to maturity.

Due to my rapidly escalating antisocial behavior, I was introduced to a lovely woman that was based at my school, “D.” She did a lot to give me the confidence boost evidently needed to begin my development through workshops, introducing me to others in my year, or just being there as a listening ear. Eventually, she left to advance in her field of work, and I was introduced to a series of other counselors. Like “D,” they were confidants that would be open, willing, and ready to listen to and support me. However, they all left fairly quickly. As Year 9 was on the horizon, there was no progress in my sense of identity. I was getting more and more lost, constantly influenced by others around me. At my most desperate time, “Mr. O” was ideally situated in my journey. Immediately, I knew he was different from all the others; he was truly there for the children, and he was truly there for me. He spent several months chipping away my sculpted exterior, and by the time he left, all that stood was a vulnerable, fragile interior that urgently needed recognizing and working on.

When the first official lockdown was announced in March of 2020, everything was brought to a halt. I began to reflect on my previous years of secondary school, all the people I met and the valuable words and teachings I acquired from them. I then began to develop in a healthy way that now reflects who I truly am.

In a particularly isolated time, I was still able to go to school and be a part of a community, which was quite powerful. “Mrs. A” readily incorporated me into her exclusive gardening club, where I felt a real passion and responsibility, as well as a true sense of unity in a fragmented period when I experienced the most memorable and positive episodes.

As I’ve started to mature independently over the last few years, I have realized my school has played a big part in my growth as a young female, even if they may not know it, and I couldn’t thank them enough for giving me that push to develop and mature into who I’ve become today.

Nubiana enjoys researching things around nature and things that are natural. She also likes to learn new things and works toward being able to speak fluent Spanish.