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I Choose Happiness

By , Saluda, NC
In my life, I have experienced love and heartbreak. Haven't we all? We all know what it's like to give our precious heart to someone we trust, only to have them break it. We all know that feeling, when the floor drops out from under you, and while you were previously standing on the moon, now you're falling through thin air. But let me tell you my story before I get to the best part.

Before him, I knew what I was looking for. I knew what I wanted. I sorted through the masses of available boys and tried my luck of the draw- and always came up on the wrong end of a heartbreak deal.
So I gave up. I stopped looking. I decided to let the world decide where I would go and who I would meet and what would happen. It wasn't that I lost hope, it was that I decided to be free. And because of this, I met him.

He fit the teenager stereotype in a perfect cookie-cutter way. Too tall, and resulting bad posture. Dark hair, that needed to be cut, but somehow worked. Acne smeared across his face. And a smile that could melt your heart from 20 miles away.
He found me before I found him, and it was the best thing that ever happened in my life. Seriously. My grades got better. I smiled more. It was like he made me better person just by being in the same general area. When we kissed, he was so excited that it was like every nerve ending in his body was on fire and he broke the kiss just to shout in excitement. We had only known each other for a short time, but it seemed like he was my best friend and I had known him all my life. When Valentine's day came two months later, I stayed up all night creating my masterpiece that was for the only person who had ever made me feel wanted. I texted him the whole time, not telling him what it was but teasing him with small details. I was constantly picking up my phone between cutting, gluing, and taping. He was really good at taking my breath away, but I got the wind knocked out of me when I picked up my phone to see an unrecognized number, from a girl who told me all about how she was sleeping with my boyfriend.

Mr. Perfect was a cheater. Was cheating. On me.

Needless to say, I left. I ate all the candy for myself and spent all of Valentine's Day eating it and watching bad romantic comedies. I cried day in and day out, which was the normal reaction. That's the reaction you see in movies and hear about from other people, but what they don't tell you is how perfectly inadequate is makes you feel. How I never fully gained back my confidence. How I never felt pretty enough afterwords. It's a big shock to your life when you go from having someone tell you you're beautiful every day, to having to reread old text messages just to remember what it was like to be happy. It made me feel like I wasn't good enough for anyone's love, like I did everything wrong and everything was my fault.

The pity party continued about three months.

I can't pretend that getting over this was easy. It wasn't. I wish I could say that one morning I woke up and deleted all our messages and gave back all his gifts and took down all our pictures. It didn't happen like that. I moved at the pace of a slug stampeding through peanut butter. I kept pictures next to my bed, but off my wall. I deleted one text at a time. I didn't give back his gifts, but I did burn them in a giant hate-bonfire.
And then, suddenly, everything was gone. I didn't have any more pictures, I didn't have any more memories. I think that that's what really helped me pick myself back up again. Knowing that there was nothing left of him to hold me back.

And so, I was faced with a choice. Happy, or unhappy? I might have been moving on, but that didn't mean that I was fixed. I didn't talk to guys. I didn't let my friends help. I was determined to do this on my own and my own way. And when my smile came back and my friends could stand to be around me again, I really started to fix myself.

I threw myself into the work of school clubs. I made sure that my time was so full and my schedule was so busy that I never had to time to think or to feel sorry for myself again. And when I did find myself alone with my thoughts, I was thinking less and less of him. I took up running, and whenever I felt angry or mad at the world or him for what happened to me, I ran until I couldn't breath and had to force myself to stop. I campaigned for office in student council, and I actually won.

The point is, I learned that it IS possible. To get out from rock bottom and pull yourself up and better. I made a choice: I chose happiness.



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