I have always obsessed over being the best. I will admit, winning brings me great joy. Nothing beats the moment I hear my name called, and my heart takes a nosedive into my stomach. I revel in the jealous look on my competitors’ faces: those tight smiles and wide eyes, desperately trying to hide feelings of anger and annoyance. Winning comes naturally, so nothing could prepare me for the moment I lost my 6th grade election. I know, an election in 6th grade does not seem like a huge deal, but hear me out. I created the most eye-catching and witty poster out there: a medicine warning label that read, “The only side effect of voting for Molly is a good time!” I had outdone myself, and my confidence could be no higher. Little did I realize how quickly that confidence could drop. My teacher picked up the black top hat with everyone’s votes, counted all those little pieces of loose leaf paper, and wrote down her findings on an index card. To be quite honest, my attention was elsewhere when my teacher got up to make the announcement. Even when she said, “Abby B.,” I only heard the words as an echo. Now, I adopted that tight smile. I could not believe that my fellow classmates had not voted for me as class representative! I held the position last year and thought I did a fantastic job. Not only had I lost, but I lost to my best friend. She looked at me with her mouth hanging open; she had not expected to win either. I adorned that fake, tight smile and pretended to be happy for her, but on the inside, I thought, “There must be a mistake.”
While everyone commended Abby on her win, I asked my teacher if I could go to the restroom. I left the room and tried to focus on the sound of my feet hitting the marble tiles. I turned left, walked down the never ending hallway, and passed the exit door. I almost opened them and escaped into the hot August air. Before I got the chance, I saw Abby’s poster plastered to a window. My friend, who I loved dearly, won the election, and here I was running away from her. I needed to stop focusing on the fact that I lost and focus on the fact that my friend won. Friends should be happy for friend’s accomplishments. I walked back to class, ran up to Abby, and gave her a big hug. I learned that day that winning is not everything. Yes, victory feels great, but as long as I am proud of myself, I should be content in my defeat. I still have trouble seeing how the whole warning label idea did not win people over, though. That slogan was genius.