ST. PETERSBURG – Life for Aaliyah Buchanan started out quite uneventful according to her standards. That is until she started high school. The past four years have proven to be the most significant transformational period to date.
Upon the start of this new chapter in her young, untouched soul, she was able to exude only one sentiment: hope. In her heart, this hope—which extended through all aspects of her being— was not to be condemned under the strength of any given circumstance, as the warm welcome of her quindecennial year of living in conjunction with the abrupt transition to an environment of “higher caliber,” a new sense of purpose was ignited.
But as this 10-month period came to an end, she saw a lack in the anticipated progression that she had hoped for. Though she managed to stay true to her high expectation of exceptional grades, those grades were of no merit as they were a product of courses that she felt did not challenge her in any way.
Aaliyah’s most successful feat was the beginning of her immersion into the minds and hearts of those around her. Though it was only found within the individuals preparing to leave, she finally was at a place where she felt at home, Gibbs High School.
Proceeding a time for a vacation that fell far from the spectrum of being “much-needed,” she returned with the same hopeful yet elementary energy. Of course, her drive to remain at the top of the class stood firmly, but she also met new intentions within new circumstances.
Those that she immediately came in contact with served as an ethical shock; the main source of this jolt originating from her involvement in the dance program. The other aspects that filled in the blanks of this time period grew increasingly insignificant as she finally delved into the beginning of her career as a Pinellas County Center for the Arts dance major.
Yet, there was another culprit that slowly but surely presented itself and dominated her functionality.
She stumbled into this predicament with oblivious grace, innocently seeking genuine companionship and returning their affections tenfold. She welcomed him with curiosity and trust, eventually acknowledging this shared abstraction as love.
The most important passage did not make itself evident until the end of this season, which she witnessed from a picture…literally. The first picture was taken at the beginning of the year, an uneven caramel complexion was surrounded by large, thirsty tresses that had been bleached and neglected.
The most striking detail being the windows to her soul exemplifying ingenious perception and application through a glossy spark not yet blessed with the exploitation of pain and a composure perched in false alertness of her orientation in space and time.
The picture taken at the end of the year drew a much different vibration. Her eyes exuded such energy that spoke with much serenity.
“I have seen, heard, felt and done such things that I would have previously interpreted as inconceivable,” stated Aaliyah. “I survived with new peace. I see myself; I see others. I comfortably welcome discomfort. This is a time of blatant vulnerability. And through learning so much about myself I leave high school with not only a strong sense of self but an idea of how I would like to live my life.
“I no longer live for myself. I live for all beings around me and within me, and it is my purpose to educate, inspire and elevate the consciousness and lives of as many souls I can possibly reach, in this lifetime.”