I Took You For Granted, Now You Are Gone

Pushing Others Away
At a very young age, I developed a bad habit. Every time someone I loved left me, I would completely shut that person out of my life. It started when I was seven years old and my older sister left to L.A. to pursue her dreams in the music industry. But in my mind, it was a whole different story. I felt like she didn’t love me anymore and was leaving forever. So what I did was erase her from my mind, and from then on, I didn’t know her.

After that, it was down hill for me. I continued this trend with my godparents and best friend as well. I think the reason I did that was because if a person didn’t exist to me anymore, then I wouldn’t miss that person. I felt it was easier for me to just do that then be hurt about the person leaving me.

My habit made me lose out on years with my sister and godparents, and almost destroyed my friendship. All that could have been avoided if I only would have dealt with my emotions and picked up the phone. But my heart and my selfishness wouldn’t let me.

I had to wait for them to chase me down when I was ready. Let me tell you, it wasn’t a fast process. It took me years to finally realize that what I was doing had to come to an end. I need to let all those locked up emotions out once and for all.

So to fix it a little and work towards facing my feelings, I now have a relationship with my sister again. I talk to my godparents every now and then but that can always improve. I try to talk to or at least text my best friend everyday now. I also expressed to them why I did what I did and asked for their forgiveness.

To put my improvement to the test, I managed to stay in my relationship with my boyfriend after he went away to college. It’s been almost a year now. Things are wonderful between us.

I may have broken my bad habit that nearly cost me the people I love. One thing is for sure, you never know what you have until it’s gone. I had to learn the hard way and I’m just glad and thankful I was lucky enough to get a second chance.
-Patrice, 18


Lost Friendship
I didn’t know what we had until I lost it. My awesome friend Gabby was the best ever! We were great together and we did crazy things together. She’s the one who can make me feel like I can do anything to express myself.

We went around school singing out loud to jumping over bushes. We were silly and our other friend Yerdie was there to witness and crack up at us. I had a blast with them, but I was snatched away by Mongsai, my boyfriend.

I started to spend less time with my friends and we just grew apart. At first I thought it was okay and that my friends and I don’t need to hang out much. I took them for granted and now I’m empty handed. I tried to hang out with them but it felt like we were so different now. I felt out of place, like I was an awkward eyesore.

I’m planning to get back my crazy times with them. I’m going to start doing stuff with them. Nowadays, we’re still cool, but I’m not going to let my friends be so distant from me anymore. My goal is to get back and make up for our time lost.
-Angelina, 16

The kNOw Youth Media
The kNOw works to support and equip young people with the journalism and advocacy skills they need to tell their stories and the stories of their communities.

In 2006, over 25 youth began participating in weekly after-school writing workshops where they congregated in the hallway of a two-story building in West Fresno and learned the essentials of creating media and telling their stories. The group evolved over the next five years and is now proudly recognized as The kNOw Youth Media.

Through our program, we create opportunities for our youth participants, who in turn create long-term positive change in their communities. Our approach weaves youth development and youth media innovation to produce our biannual youth publication, multimedia projects, and community forums.

The kNOw began as a project of New America Media, which was the country’s first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 2000 ethnic news organizations. In 2018 The kNOw became a project of Youth Leadership Institute.

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