I Am A Totally Different Person Than I Was A Year Ago, And I Am Grateful For That

I Am A Totally Different Person Than I Was A Year Ago, And I Am Grateful For That

I am grateful for my struggles because they've made me stronger, and a lot change in a year.

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Last year, I was a totally different person than I am now. I have grown so much, and I have changed, hopefully for the better. It feels like it has been for the better because I am so confident in who I am as a person.

Last year, I was just starting my career as a college student. I was a freshman living on her own for the first time. I was finding out how to adult for the first time. I had to manage my time and prioritize things for the first time.

It was hard, and I've definitely made mistakes along the way, but I've gotten a pretty good grasp of how to do it. Also, I've gotten a ton of help and advice on how to do it well. As a result, I've been able to do more with my time and I've been able to expand myself professionally.

It was a struggle, but I am grateful that I went through them.

This time last year, I was in a group of friends that wasn't right for me. I was focused on school and getting good grades. That wasn't their priority and the people who I thought I would be best friends with forever don't even wave to me around campus today. We grew apart.

This year, I think I've found a couple of groups of friends that are all amazing people. All of the people in these groups are driven and hardworking people. They care about school and their lives after college and are setting themselves up for a brighter future. These people motivate me to work harder in college.

It was hard having those first friendships in college fail, but the people in my life now are so much better for me. I genuinely think the world of everyone that is an active part of my world now because these people are all people who deserve the best in life.

Between this time last year and now I went through a lot of personal struggles. Each time they got harder and more complicated, but I am grateful for these struggles.

It's never easy having friendships go sour, especially for someone like me who values their friendships so highly. I am loyal to my friends to a fault, and when friendships fail it deeply pains me. However, these failed relationships have made me stronger and have made me a more mature and a better person.

This time last year, I was lost. I had a vision of what I wanted to do with my life, but I had no idea how to get there. I had no idea what I was going to do in the meantime until I got there. This was a huge emotional struggle for me.

Now, I am not lost. I have my vision and I still have no idea of exactly how I am going to get there. However, instead of freaking out, I am embracing the moment. I am keeping myself open to new opportunities and in the past year, I have taken a lot of them.

In those new opportunities I have experienced, I have found a love for non-profit work. I've found myself in a sorority after thinking that I would never be in one. I've found myself doing research.

This time last year, I struggled with leaving my comfort zone. From being scared out of my mind doing a ropes course and being hesitant embracing new friendships. I was scared to leave what I knew.

Now, I am constantly escaping my comfort zone. In the past year, I've taken out door-frames in one piece, I have joined a sorority (that was leaps and bounds out of my comfort zone), I have taken on new roles and positions, and I've made new friends.

This time last year I was miserable. I got anxious over almost everything, especially the stupid things that don't matter now. I doubted myself a lot. I got worked up over almost everything and I was always sad.

Now, I am the happiest I have ever been. I don't get anxious over stupid things. I am confident in who I am, and I am happy.

This happiness, this happiness that isn't going away is because of those new experiences and opportunities. I left my comfort zone, and I've become happier. Everything this past year has made me stronger and more mature.

This past year, I've struggled a lot. I went through a lot of high highs and a lot of low lows. If it weren't for these struggles, I wouldn't have grown to be the person I am today.

In this past year, I have discovered some of my values. I have learned things about myself, and I've done new things. I am a different person.

This Thanksgiving and year, I am grateful for my struggles because I am so much more mature, confident, and stronger than I ever was before. I am proud of who I am today, and that is large in part to my friends and the experiences I've had. I am grateful for that, to those people thank you.

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Bailey Posted A Racist Tweet, But That Does NOT Mean She Deserves To Be Fat Shamed

As a certified racist, does she deserve to be fat shamed?
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This morning, I was scrolling though my phone, rotating between Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Snapchat again, ignoring everyone's snaps but going through all the Snapchat subscription stories before stumbling on a Daily Mail article that piqued my interest. The article was one about a teen, Bailey, who was bullied for her figure, as seen on the snap below and the text exchange between Bailey and her mother, in which she begged for a change of clothes because people were making fun of her and taking pictures.

Like all viral things, quickly after her text pictures and harassing snaps surfaced, people internet stalked her social media. But, after some digging, it was found that Bailey had tweeted some racist remark.

Now, some are saying that because Bailey was clearly racist, she is undeserving of empathy and deserves to be fat-shamed. But does she? All humans, no matter how we try, are prejudiced in one way or another. If you can honestly tell me that you treat everyone with an equal amount of respect after a brief first impression, regardless of the state of their physical hygiene or the words that come out of their mouth, either you're a liar, or you're actually God. Yes, she tweeted some racist stuff. But does that mean that all hate she receives in all aspects of her life are justified?

On the other hand, Bailey was racist. And what comes around goes around. There was one user on Twitter who pointed out that as a racist, Bailey was a bully herself. And, quite honestly, everyone loves the downfall of the bully. The moment the bullies' victims stop cowering from fear and discover that they, too, have claws is the moment when the onlookers turn the tables and start jeering the bully instead. This is the moment the bully completely and utterly breaks, feeling the pain of their victims for the first time, and for the victims, the bully's demise is satisfying to watch.

While we'd all like to believe that the ideal is somewhere in between, in a happy medium where her racism is penalized but she also gets sympathy for being fat shamed, the reality is that the ideal is to be entirely empathetic. Help her through her tough time, with no backlash.

Bullies bully to dominate and to feel powerful. If we tell her that she's undeserving of any good in life because she tweeted some racist stuff, she will feel stifled and insignificant and awful. Maybe she'll also want to make someone else to feel as awful as she did for some random physical characteristic she has. Maybe, we might dehumanize her to the point where we feel that she's undeserving of anything, and she might forget the preciousness of life. Either one of the outcomes is unpleasant and disturbing and will not promote healthy tendencies within a person.

Instead, we should make her feel supported. We all have bad traits about ourselves, but they shouldn't define us. Maybe, through this experience, she'll realize how it feels to be prejudiced against based off physical characteristics. After all, it is our lowest points, our most desperate points in life, that provide us with another perspective to use while evaluating the world and everyone in it.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter / Bailey

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From Someone Who's Wrestled With Self-Doubt, I Finally Learned I'm Enough

Everyone struggles with insecurity but I am here to tell you you're enough.

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Every human at some point in time struggles with confidence. If you are not part of the mass majority than I congratulate you. That is a true accomplishment in today's world. But most of us battle with our own insecurities the majority of the time.

The internal question of "am I good enough?" It's on a constant loop. Whether it pertains to your intelligence, relationships, body image; there is always that thought circling our minds. Building confidence is a long journey, however, I am here to say it is possible.

I am someone who has consistently wrestled with self-doubt. It is difficult for me to open up about, but the whole part of coming to terms with your reality is the vulnerability of sharing and allowing others to take away from your experience. So here we go!

For years I have struggled with body image, like many do. My whole life I have heard from health professionals that I am overweight. Too far past the healthy percentile for my height and age. Constantly being encouraged to watch portions and exercise more frequently.

I always thought to myself that my life would be better once I lost weight. That more people would find me attractive, my confidence would increase, and I would finally feel at ease with myself. All I needed was motivation within myself, to push for what I have been fantasizing over. I wish I knew that this was not everything.

I didn't start to lose extreme weight until my freshman year fall semester. Something that was an initial healthy outlet, became an obsession. I wasn't a moderate gym member and nourishing my body properly. Instead, I was going to the gym twice a day, running for two hours straight each session, and pushing my body to its limits. I was burning myself out.

Someone who used to always enjoy food dreaded the thought of eating. I would excessively exercise and convince myself that I was full and overeating after only eating an apple for an entire days meal.

As I once told myself that losing weight would change my life for the better, it was crippling to my mental state. I looked in the mirror, thinnest I have ever been, and all I saw was someone who was obese. My mind was messing with my reality.

The anxiety I had over eating was immense, starving myself to achieve beauty. I scared those closest to me. My friends and family, I am so sorry you saw me in such a chaotic phase in my life. I am sorry that I had worried you so much and hurt you while hurting myself.

With time, I caught an illness before it completely overcame me and stole all my joy. What people don't tell you about weight loss, is that no matter how many pounds you lose, it doesn't correct the burden and weight you carry in your heart.

Why do we focus so much on the external, when it is often our internal that needs remedies? It is because we all have insecurities we allow to fester. However, let's recognize that true confidence comes from within. You have to be satisfied with your innermost self first.

Months of healing and I finally realized; I like my soul. I am compassionate. I give back to my community. I give back to my friends. I love my family with my whole heart. I am kind to each person I come across. And that's what is truly important. That is what defines me. Once I realized that I appreciated me for me, my confidence flourished.

Now exercise is not a chore but something that genuinely fuels me! I run outside for pure joy. Not for the pressure to lose weight but to have gratitude for my bodies capabilities. How beautiful it is to know that you are alive, breathing in the fresh air. Feeling your lungs inhale and exhale. Knowing that your body is strong and capable of such movement.

Our minds and bodies need rest and deserve to be taken care of properly. There's no reason to focus solely on the physical because that is not what embodies who you are. There are more important things in this life.

Every single individual has something that makes them special, do not allow for your confidence to diminish by comparison. Do not let the world steal your light through societal expectations. Do not shrink yourself. Someone else's beauty is not the absence of your own.

Your heart is what makes you who you are, allow for the world to see it. Be confident, undeniably and uniquely you. The next time you're in a constant loop of insecurity, use this affirmation; "I am enough!"

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