” Good friends help you to find important things when you have lost them… your smile, your hope, and your courage.” -Doe Zantamata
How do I somehow manage to remain sane through everything? well here’s the secret! find some wonderful humans who challenge you and bring out the best in you.
Constantly moving from neighborhood to neighborhood as a kid and transferring in and out of schools, I never made an effort to talk to others, “what’s the point? I’ll be moving again anyways.” was always my mentality. I Spent the first 16 years of my life being the awkward,quiet, and shy kid. I was bullied all throughout Elementary school and Middle school. I was the out cast, The weird one that nobody wanted to invite anywhere or talk to, I let the views and option of others towards me affect my own and I saw myself as someone worthless and not capable of ever having anyone genuinely care about them. I had such a low view of myself and I chose to give into everyone’s views and rumors and hate myself.
“One day we’ll finally learn to love ourselves and stop apologizing for the things that make us who we are.” -R.m. Drake
Everything changed when I entered High school. It was a chance to ” Re-invent” myself, And I was determined not to let other’s views of me affect my own. I struggled at first, I felt the need to constantly change my image and be different. I dyed my hair almost every 2 months, I didn’t really talk to anyone except for a couple of people I had met through two friends I had made that year. I never really bothered to talk to people, I headed to my classes did what was expected and then headed home at the end of the day. One of the classes that I will always be thankful for is Theater. I was assigned to a drama 1 class that year, I hated it at first.
You see, I was never the person to speak out. My Drama 1 teacher helped me get out of my shell. Most of our tests in that class consisted of portraying different emotions (acting sad, being over joyed, Etc) it helped me gain the confidence I no longer thought I had.
I joined a lot of Clubs that year. I became involved in as many plays as I could and my love for theater grew! I learned to laugh with myself and just embrace my flaws. My friends and family saw a change in me. I no longer cared about what others thought of me. I made an effort to talk to others and Made many friends, It was a change I genuinely liked.
I started going to Church again and made friends there. My Church has a youth group for inner city teens and has many fellowship activities for the teens. It is thanks to my workers pushing me to go the activities, that I made more friends, friends who had the same views and beliefs as me.
I remained involved in all of the plays and volunteered as much as I could. little by little I was becoming the outgoing kid, I no longer struggled to make conversations with others.
” Find a group of people that Challenge and inspire you. Spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.”Amy Poehler
You see when we let others views of us affect us, we change, we shut ourselves out and are quick to think that there is something wrong with us when there isn’t. All our life we try and try to impress others and change ourselves so much and loose sight of who we really are.
I was lucky enough to find people who accepted me for who I really was. see that’s the thing about friends, they help us believe in ourselves when we can’t, they are the ones we’re so quick to call when we need a shoulder to cry on, the ones we laugh with in the good times, and the ones we make endless memories with. Who you surround yourself with will determine who you become.