I Live For Others

I’ve been saying this my whole life and I will say it forever, I live for others. It's the only thing I've ever been sure of.

You can tell me I don’t. You can tell me everything I’ve ever done that’s even been slightly selfish and you can argue with me for hours about how I do not, but I do. I live for others.

If you know me, you know I’ve never had consistent best friends. I’ve changed friend groups every year since kindergarten with only a few people lasting more than 2 years. No one in my life has felt like a consistency, even the friends I’ve had for more than a decade haven’t lived in my hometown for many years. For a really long time I thought there was something wrong with me, I now know that it was the world's way of telling me that I had given them everything I could, that it was time to be there for someone else. It was time to be there for someone else.

I can’t tell you the ways that I’ve affected people. I can’t say “I did this for her, I did that for her” because I will never know exactly unless they specifically tell me. However, after careful reflection, I do know some ways on how I’ve “helped” people.

There was a boy who I met between 8th and 9th grade who I was very interested in to the point where I wanted to be his someone, despite him living in another state. He will deny it, but he lead me on. He told me he was falling for me, that he wanted to be with me, he said he had never met anyone like me. He did, however, have a girlfriend back home who loved him more than I ever could. He posted on Facebook two years later (on their four year anniversary), that they had hit hardships in their time together and he had made bad decisions that made him question whether or not they belonged together, but that they came out stronger than they could have imagined. Even though I was heartbroken for months after he ended things with me, I’d like to think that I was a contributing factor that helped bring them closer.

There was a girl I was friends with for about a year and a half after she started at La Cañada schools. We were best friends almost immediately. I showed her everything I knew about our school and vowed to be there for her in all the highs and lows she’d ever see in her life. I talked to her about everything I had ever been through and she did the same. We ended up splitting up, but after a few months apart, she admitted that I was an instrumental part in her life at that point and she didn’t know what she would have done without me.

My ex-boyfriend was struggling a lot with tryouts for various ROTC programs while we were together. He was constantly questioning his place in high school and was in a point in his life where he needed support from someone who would just listen to him complain about everything we was going through. He told me he couldn’t live without me. Even if it was only a couple months, there was a point where I was living to help him feel supported.

My senior year, I talked to a boy every day from November until July, only missing one day in March for a reason I don’t totally remember. He was going through tough times and needed someone to be there for him. I was that person.

In high school, I did everything. I was a part of the Associated Student Body, Teens for the Advancement of Children's Hospital, the 2015 Miss LCF Royal Court, and Foothill Force Jump Rope Team. I was a Tournament of Roses Royal Court Finalist, a devoted Girl Scout and Girl Scout Camp counselor and mentor, I was chosen for the 2015 Youth Citizenship Seminar, and I was selected as a spotlight senior at my high school's presentation for incoming freshmen. I also ran my own screen printing company, did a lot of the t-shirt and apparel design for the school, and was president of a team of students who created an app for the high school students. I lived to help others. I volunteered for everything, I helped with anything I could, I did everything I could. At the end of the year at my senior awards, the ASB (student government) advisor got up in front of my entire grade and described how that the school would never be able to give me what I gave to it. How without my dedication and love, everything would be different (which is a bit pretentious sounding, but they’re his words, not mine. I lived to give my classmates the best high school experience they could have.

Don’t get me wrong, I gain things from my friendships. They were there for me when I needed them and there is no way that my relationships with people were ever one sided.

Yes, I live to survive, but my purpose is for others. I am here for you before I am here for me.

Lizzie Bromley