In 4 Years, I Became The Confident, Happy Person I Had Wished To Be

In 4 Years, I Became The Confident, Happy Person I Had Wished To Be

What once felt impossible is now my reality.

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As I write this, it's August 24. My 21st birthday.

I went in to renew my license today. I saw the date on my old license, 2014, and was reminded of how long ago that was.

It's only been four years, but it feels like so much more time has passed.

An insane amount has changed in those four years. I've changed a great amount in those four years.

Four years ago, I was a senior in high school without a clue. Now, I'm a senior in college who wishes I could ignore the knowledge negative experiences in the last few years forced upon me.

Four years ago, I was still learning who I was. Now, I know that I am a writer, an actress, a theater lover, a good girlfriend. Someone who has come to love herself and is making strides in taking better care of herself.

Four years ago, I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. Now, I'm an official mass communications major for public relations, with a minor in theatre arts to keep what I love in my life. I joined the Odyssey and learned how much I love writing, and use that to push myself forward every day. I've worked two internships in two different areas of communications and learned a lot from both. I've refined my writing skills.

Four years ago, I didn't know what I was good at. I now know that I can write. I can sing, dance, and act. I'm good at organizing. I'm a solid barista.

I'm good at being someone who cares about others. Someone who loves with all her heart even if it means getting hurt a lot, because it's worth it to care that much about others. Someone who can stand up for herself and refuses to be walked over.

Four years ago, I finally made friends after spending most of my life rejected and alone. Now, I no longer have those friends in my life. My number of friends is significantly smaller than it once was, but I've learned the truth behind the saying "quality over quantity" when it comes to friends and the people you keep in your life.

Four years ago, I hated myself. I was just coming to terms with the official labels of "anxiety," "depression," and "OCD" that now applied to my life, that explained all the mental turmoil I had been dealing with for years with no knowledge about what I was dealing with or why. I was happier than I had been just a year before, but I still got depressed and occasionally had suicidal thoughts.

Now, I love myself. I still have days where I find myself hating myself and my body, but those days happen significantly less than they used to. I'm back in therapy and started medication, realizing that both are not signs of weakness and are important to taking care of my mental health. I've embraced the fact that my mental diagnoses are a part of me and will always be in my life, and am learning to live with that.

Four years ago, I was a very different person on the verge of her whole life changing yet again. Now, I'm exactly who I wished to be four years ago.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Being Ugly

What it means to me

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Due to a series of ongoing events throughout my semester, I've reconsidered what it means for someone to truly be ugly. Though it is often used in terms of appearance, I do not see it as such-- now more than ever. Ugliness runs deeper than appearance-- it runs within one's soul and festers into other areas of one's life, particularly in their treatment of others.

I view ugliness as someone's conscious capacity and implementation of malice. Taking time and energy out of your day to hurt someone else, that's what I view as ugly. Some offenses are more minor than others, however, it is still a conscious effort to hurt or affect someone else negatively-- and that's the source of the problem. I truly wonder what causes that sort of behavior in someone, as I, along with most people, simply do not invest time or energy into hating or plotting against others. It seems like a full-time job.

I can theorize all sorts of reasons as to why someone would act this way: hate, jealousy, vengeance, etc. Yet, all of these reasons don't hit the root reason. It almost seems that some people are just innately ugly in their soul. This alludes to the timeless debate of whether one's personality is due to nature or nurture. Again, although our surroundings and environment do have a large effect in our behavior, that alibi only goes so far when multiple people are placed in the same environment, in the same situation, and only some are willing to cross moral boundaries in order to hurt the others. Just because an environment applies pressure to people, does not mean everyone is going to act out in malice, and it certainly does not give everyone an excuse to do so. Some people are simply conniving and, well, ugly inside.

If you have ever encountered people like this, I know from personal experience that it is such a drag. You have an enemy, essentially, whether you chose to or not, however based on their hatred towards you, they are now considered an enemy, a hater, and any other associated term. Know that they will do anything in their power to bring you down, even if it requires bending the truth and creating elaborate schemes, but you have to keep on doing you. Let them obsess over ways to bring you down. At the end of the day, their time and energy is being invested into bringing you down, while yours is being used to build yourself up. They will fall by default. So, keep your head high, act in grace, and make your money. They can sip on their Haterade and watch from below.

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