CONTEST ENTRY: Embracing Who I Am
Dear Future Butterflies,
The ones that are having a hard time fitting in with their peers. I see you guys sitting in your school gym listening to a speaker that doesn’t give you any encouragement for your future.
Right now, I know many of you feel lost in a world that’s giving you confusing messages on who you are and who you should be. You’re made to believe that you’re supposed to be tough all the time or be a bully & terrorize other kids, but, that’s not who you are deep inside your heart.
The school world probably isn’t helping bring out those characteristics about yourself that make you ”you”. Nor are your loved ones (bless their hearts). They’ve already picked certain students who they believe will be future stars and left ones like you behind because they see no value in you.
You want to cry and take your anger out on those who mistreat you, but, you’re afraid, that you don’t have the strength to defend yourself. You have more power inside than you think. You just haven’t been allowed to see it yet. A long adventure awaits you.
I was like many of you for a long time. I had a hard time showing the qualities that made me feel alive - because the environment I was around didn’t allow them to grow into healthy flowers. I grew up in a small town in North Carolina for the first fifteen years of my life. I would discover my love for History and Reading there.
A lot of kids I knew, didn’t share the same love that I had for those two things, so, it was impossible to make friends because the boys I knew were into making fun of others, fighting, and establishing dominance over others.
Those things never interested me so I became a target of their cruel games. They enjoy bullying me and making me feel low whenever they had the chance. Enough bullying had happened that they got their wish. My self-esteem was in the negatives. That bubbly kid died in middle school.
I became quiet and only said the bare minimum just to get by without anyone picking on me. It would take years for me to finally rejoice and embrace the qualities of myself that are a part of me. It was a long journey into learning more about myself.
While my peers had seemed like they had figured their life out and were doing great things, I remained behind just trying to make sure I don’t take the wrong path in life for most of my 20s.
The amazing part is I would start coming across people online & offline in my 20s that would help me find the path where I’m on today. Now at 32, my self-esteem is in a better place than it’s ever been. I can’t wait to see my progress in five years.
I share my love for history out in the open. I also would discover this amazing gift called writing - thanks to a close friend I met on a social media site that I remain close with to this day.
If someone from the future told me that my life would change 20 years ago, I wouldn’t believe them– because of the mental state I was in at the time.
Like me, you’ll discover people who will bring those amazing qualities you have out of you and made you feel safe being who you are.
I wish I could tell you that your journey would be easy, it may be a tough one for you. Rejoice though, you’re gonna make it. Just trust the process, even when it gets painful (which is a hard challenge).
You’ll do a lot of inner work on yourself, a lot of it will be uncomfortable. You’ll read articles that talk will make you feel bad about yourself. You’ll even have a lot of self-loathing moments.
You’ll even be mad at yourself for not having the courage to stand up for yourself when you were younger. All of the hardship & pain you’ll go through is to produce a strong human being.
So, I hope this message empowers you, you’re journey is just beginning and I hope to see you on the other side someday.
I wish you all much success,
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