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You Are Your Best Version

By , Johns Creek , GA

Negativity floods every single mind that can think. Ever see a sad fire hydrant? Exactly. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to be so pessimistic. The mind is simply trying to preserve and protect itself from any perceivable harm. This sub-set of paranoia is an extremely common practice that nearly everyone experiences, however, it can be amplified to a harmful extent. For too many people, overthinking is the bane of their existence. Every action has a reaction and that has a reaction and then somehow the fact that you asked for a pencil snowballs into the end of the world.
Countless times, I have been greeted by unwanted insults from the inner corners of my brain. You look fat. Ew… you’re going to wear that? You shouldn’t say anything, because everybody thinks you’re dumb. I can’t believe how ugly you are. And my least favorite: you should do better. These thoughts swirl around my psyche and are generally a burden. They make me lose focus in class, stifle my joy, and miss opportunities. All because my brain believes was is helping me avoid social suffering and judgement. My mind subconsciously conditioned me to try harder to achieve my goals, but it did it in a harmful way.
My freshman year of high school was essentially hell. If I had a dime for every time I cried thinking that I wasn’t good enough, I’d have enough to buy a small country. I desperately wanted to be perfect: be the perfect person, have the perfect grades, and have the perfect body. Unfortunately, everything I did made me become the opposite of what I wanted. I was crabby, angry, disgusted, and a bother to be around. I pushed away the people that I loved the most. The people that I never wanted to hurt. The people that I wanted to become perfect for. It was a tough pill to swallow; understanding that what I tried so hard do satisfied no one, but one I eventually choked down.
I remember avoiding my friends in the hallways. I had a wonderful group of people I talked to in homeroom. We weren’t cool whatsoever, but we just clicked. My stomach would ache from the fits of hysteria we shared. One day, I decided not to go anymore. I hid myself in the library or in a teacher’s classroom, because I felt so unwanted. Cold, damp walls enclosed me from social interaction and I shivered through months of solitude. My friend Marisol, the beautiful soul that she is, always asked me how I was. I felt terrible for lying to her, but lies had become me. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that people would actually enjoy being around me, and I kept falling deeper and deeper into the hole of self-hatred I dug myself. 
With an immense amount of love and support, I got back to a healthy mindset. Even where I am now, it is a constant struggle to push down those negative emotions. I still sometimes feel like I am not enough, and I should just morph into a better version of myself. However, the lesson I have learned throughout this entire debacle is this: the best version of yourself is the happiest. The world does not give a damn whether you have straight A’s or straight F’s, whether you’re a size 2 or a size 22, or whether you’re extroverted or quiet as a mouse. People will love you for you and what makes you happy. If they don’t, why are you surrounding yourself with them? I am so insanely fortunate to have found the people I have now, and know that they will love me unconditionally with how I am. I advise everybody to do the same. Happiness is a reasonable and attainable goal as long as you just let yourself be the beautiful amazing person that you are.






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