I have always been someone who absolutely loves her friends. I believe friendships are extremely precious.

I only had maybe two friends when I first started kindergarten in the year 2000. My first friend because she noticed my Pokemon backpack. She didn’t tell me that I looked funny. She didn’t ask me why I didn’t look like my mom. She didn’t pull on her eyes to make fun of me. She noticed that we had a similarity in favorite TV shows. She became my best friend. When I would cry on the playground because of the kids that were mean to me she would come up to me and try to make me laugh anyway she could. I have based all of my friendships on this first friendship.

In fifth grade I met my lifelong best friend. To this day I will do anything for her, and I know that she will do anything for me. Even though we live an hour away from each other we still keep up with each other. We have many, many fights about useless things. We have stopped talking to each other for about a year, but then we decided that we were  being stupid and why would we throw away our friendship.

My sophomore year I met my other best friend. We bonded over small things, and honestly we were just kind of thrown together. We could not be more opposite of each other, but that was okay because we made it work. We both loved Doctor Who and tacos. Instant friendship. She was there for me for when I would cry over stupid boys, she laughed with me, she screamed with K-Pop idols, and she was my person. She meant the world to me and I always wanted to protect her.

In October, I lost her. It was over a dumb reason that I wasn’t to blame for. I was worried for how close she was getting to someone. My other friend spoke up about it, and it all blew up on me. I took it because there was no reason fighting it. There was no convincing her that she wasn’t be attacked. I lost her, and I’ll never get her back.

I cried every time one of her friends would message me telling me that I was “uneducated” and that I was a “coward.” I never said anything. Our other friend was the one who spoke up, but I got thrown under the bus and lost everyone. I cried as her friends constantly messaged me telling me that I didn’t deserve to be happy because I had apparently made her upset with my saying nothing. I had blocked her from everything only because she had gone behind my back and told people our private conversations which resulted in those people attacking me through social media.

I cried.

I did have my other two very close best friends that did not leave me. They didn’t agree with how everything was happening. I still have them. I thank God for them every single day. They have made me so happy, and they have reassured me that they are going nowhere. We went through this hardship together, and they’re not leaving.

I have an issue with people leaving. I’ve felt alone most of my life. Not because of family not paying attention to me, that’s not the case at all. My family is honestly the best, but this is a funny thing that depression does. You can have so many people around you, but you can feel completely alone. You’re trapped inside yourself. Physically you’re there, but mentally you’re telling yourself that people can leave. People can decide one day that they don’t want to be in your life anymore. I guess it was mainly because so many of my boyfriends have told me that they will be there for me forever and then end up leaving. Maybe that’s why I have a problem with people leaving. I’m so scared to  get too close to people because I just break them. Everything I touch turns to the same sorry dust that I am made of, and I am just so scared to break anyone else.

Then, something changed in my mind.

I was tired of feeling like this. I was tired of these toxic people. I was tired. I blocked all of them. I told my mind to shut up, and I decided stop this madness. I had lost my boyfriend, who I was sure was going to be my future husband, and I lost one of my best friends. 2017 had taken from me everything I loved and cared about. I decided to not let 2017 win.

I learned that it hurts to lose those really close to you, but if they don’t care about your well-being then they don’t deserve to be that close to you. I didn’t decide to trust no one. Instead, I decided to hear people out more. What’s your story? What events brought you to this point in your life?

What makes you happy?

I was ready to be happy. But not a happiness hidden by a mask. A happiness that brought happiness to others. My name in Korea is Miso. In Korea, Miso means smile. My grandmother told me this was my name because I had one of the most beautiful smiles she had ever seen. When I was growing up, I danced. When we would take our pictures for the year to go in our program book the photographers would always tell my mom that I just had one of the best smiles. In high school, I won “Best Smile” four years in a row. I had fallen away from being truly happy, I had lost myself. So I decided to be myself again.

Miso has a deeper meaning to me now than it ever has. It was time to smile. It was time for a change, and I was ready to be happy.

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