228.

That’s today’s number.  228.  It’s the countdown to graduation.  (I accidentally lied to my class today, telling them it was 220. whoops.)

Today it’s a big number, but tomorrow it’ll be one less day that I have left to make my mark.  One less day to smile at people in the hallways and meet with my mentee at lunch.  One less day to soak in the safe atmosphere of my second home.  One less day to drink in the wisdom from teachers-turned mentors- turned friends.

The finality began to settle in when I clicked the “submit” button on my first (and most anticipated) college application on Sunday.  I am setting up for the next stage of my life, leaving behind the safety and comfort of high school that I have known.

I’m sure those aren’t common words that people use to describe high school: “safe” and “comforting”.  I hear people say all the time that they couldn’t be paid enough to go back to high school, and in some ways I understand that.  The search for identity and acceptance is one that most wouldn’t want to relive.  The experiences in high school shape and mold us into the people that we will be for the rest of our lives – and who ever said that shaping and molding would feel good?  I think of metamorphic rocks as my example.

The brilliance and beauty and flawlessness of this diamond didn’t just happen.  Heat and pressure over many years created the beauty that is a girl’s best friend.  (when they’re fair trade, that is!)

To become what we are made to be, what we aspire to be, what is beautiful, we have to withstand heat and pressure, something I’ve been able to do accompanied by some of the greatest people, people who are going through the same thing I am – withstanding loads heavier than mine, holding up under pressure greater than my PSI.

And after withstanding the pressure and becoming one of the strongest substances in the world, diamonds don’t usually stay hidden under a rock.  They sparkle and shine and make newly engaged people happy.  They’re a topic of conversation, something that catches the eye.  Diamonds rarely go unnoticed, especially the most brilliant and reflective ones.

Are you seeing my parallels here?  I hope my experiences have pushed and heated me into a person who stands out as one who has withstood the pressure by leaning on God and come out with character to reflect His brilliance and beauty.  Without the many facets and cuts to make them sparkle, diamonds wouldn’t be much more than a really strong rock, but with the extra cuts, they are fashioned into something to reflect light.

I want to reflect light.

And I have 228 more days to figure out how I’m going to do that.

228.

228.

228.

2-2-8

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