The Evolution of Triana Crighton.
I have only ever publicly cried hard in two instances: CNH Key Club DCON 2010 and CNH Circle K DCON 2013.
2010 - the thought of leaving Key Club and my “Key Club babies” behind.
2013 - A year of insecurity and feelings of being incompetent put to rest as well as pride for the home club I worked so hard to lead to the best of my ability.
Despite the instances being similar, I feel as if I evolved through my Presidency. Since my early teens, I’ve always been someone incredibly shy — a total introvert. I never made the effort to talk to people or make friends.
I also had a terrible first impression for about 98% of people. With an exception of Fall Quarter, my previous first impressions I’ve heard from people have been: bitchy, stuck-up, diva, pretentious, mean, intimidating, ‘doesn’t give a shit about anyone/anything’, etc.
Presidency pushed me out of my comfort zone and basically forced me out of my naturally introverted shell (although I still very much feel like an introvert at heart. I’m constantly pushing myself to socialize). As President and face of the club, I couldn’t keep with the chronic bitch-face I suffered from. “People really love you once they get to know you” is what a member once told me during my term as Treasurer. But as President, I didn’t have the time to just have people get to know me and break the shell. I had to get them to like me, almost instantly.
I pushed myself to get to know new memebrs until my first impression suddenly turned from the previous to: fun, nice, (still) intimidating, derpy, someone I’d like to get to know.
But most of all, I think Presidency truly softened me. When I came to college, I had a lot of pent up emotions — a lot of anger. Growing up in a very broken household (but thankfully still blessed with an amazing mother. She was the saving grace of my childhood.) and having traumatic experience after traumatic experience from young childhood to even present day, I was always…closed-up. I was strong — very strong — but my strength became walls. I didn’t have too many friends in high school (thankfully the friends I did have were very sweet. I always felt like the outcast kid who got to hang out with the popular kids) and I came to college in hopes of finding someone who experienced the same troubles I did growing up.
I never really found what I was looking for and I could feel all the pent up emotions choking me and filling me with frustration. These feelings were always present, but only manifested in college.
Circle K became my outlet. I joined for the same reason I joined Key Club: to do my best to improve my community and help others, while doing my best to ensure that no one ever had to feel the way I felt growing up — helpless.
As President I found myself taking care of not only a board of twenty, but a club of over seventy. I didn’t have time to regret my past or reflect on the drama my life managed to muster.
I always thought that finding someone who felt like me would help me heal.
But before I knew it, I was standing in front a room full of people, crying my eyes out, feeling nothing but happiness and self-satisfaction. No longer bitter about anything. Somewhere along the line of me becoming a little less shy, I think old wounds healed. Somewhere along the path of planting trees, helping kids read, and late-night study socials I found myself no longer thinking about my troubled past. I began looking forward more: looking forward to my member’s growth into leaders, looking forward to all the service and change I’d make in the world along side friends, looking forward to all the friends I would get to make.
When I was young, I felt thankful to the Kiwanis Family House for housing my father when my brother received his leukemia treatment.
When I was in middle school, I felt thankful to the Kiwanians who helped keep our electricity on and our house warm.
When I was in high school, I felt thankful to Key Club for giving me an outlet for all the pain I shouldered. For showing me that I could make a difference.
And now, I feel thankful to Circle K. For being a major catalyst in my growth to becoming a leader. For being the just the thing to finally heal very old wounds.
During my term as President, it wasn’t just my hair color that changed (hah). I end my term as a new person. Triana V.2: a more derpy, ass-kicking, and confident me than ever before.