• Jenna Kantor

I'm a Sardine


[ I’m a sardine ]

The summer before I started the third grade, I met my best friend, Melanie. I had moved next door to her over the summer and we quickly bonded. We created individual pools in garbage bags, played board games like MASH and Girl Talk, and did Arts and Crafts such as tie dying t-shirts.

When school began, I learned the my best friend was also the most popular girl in school. I suddenly found myself with many friends and was thrilled to have more playmates. It was such a joyous time when I was not old enough to care about my appearance or suffer from gossip. I just wanted people to play Barbies with me.

When the next summer was coming to an end, Melanie told me she did not want to be my friend anymore. I did not understand. Her mother explained that her daughter felt like she was stuck between two sardines in a can.

I remember initially feeling confused and impressed. How did Melanie come up with such a mature metaphor? Such great imagination! This confusion was quickly replaced with that sinking feeling you get in your heart when you are significantly hurt. I felt so small and disposable. I don’t remember crying about it. I’m sure I did, but I don’t remember.

Not only did I lose her friendship, but I lost all the other buddies I had made through her. I felt worthless, embarrassed, and ashamed. I did not understand. Up until that point in my life, I never it never crossed my mind to doubt myself. Was I that bad of a person? Was I someone people needed to ditch in order to be happy?

This was the first time I experienced rejection from people. I was undesired and dispensable. This marked the beginning of insecurities about my relationships with people who I thought were close to me.

This experience has taught me to be more compassionate with others. You never know what struggles they have dealt with in regards to their human relationships. You never know their losses and gains until they tell you. Never assume, always be sensitive.

Always start each relationship with an open mind. Be ready to give love to each person you meet. You never know how much it means to her and you both will reap the rewards.

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