Learning to Love Yourself

Some people might be wondering why I started the story of my life from the end of high school. Well, to be honest I didn’t have a very good middle school experience, and I have chosen to forget most of it. But for the sake of an understanding, let’s dive into my past…

I moved to a different city when I was 9. At my old city, I had a lot of friends and was a pretty happy kid. When I got to Winnipeg, though, things were very different. I made friends, but as I got older I started to question my friends and why I spend my time with them. I began to realize that I had to try really hard to fit in with them, and often felt out of place. I felt like a bit of an outcast, even within my own group of friends. I began spending a lot of time playing video games, and found the people I met through these internet video games were a lot more like me than the people in my actual life.

Still, I didn’t see any option but to go along with these people and try to fit in, at least until I left for high school and could try to meet new people. I kept a journal when I was in grade six, and reading back how I felt then, I’m not surprised I was miserable. I was very insecure about my body. I felt like if only I was slimmer, and more outgoing, things would be perfect. I wanted a boyfriend, and had a series of crushes that always ended up in my embarrassment. Especially when I told my friends about a crush in confidence, and every single time they told someone and word got out. At the time I had no idea how to react, and felt destroyed by it countless times.

The worst thing that happened to me was when I was in grade 6, I told my best friend I had a huge crush on this guy. I was absolutely hooked on him. I spent most of my time daydreaming about him. One day I went bowling with my best friend, that guy, and another guy who was a friend of all of us. We had a really great time. A few weeks later, though, I found out that my best friend was with him, and everyone kept talking about how they had kissed. I was gutted. I couldn’t even enjoy my birthday because she was there, and I knew this about her, but she had never told me about it. I didn’t know why this had to happen to me. I’ve never been so hurt by a friend as I was then.

I now have more guy friends than girls. It’s partly because I fit in better as one of the guys, but also because I don’t trust girls because I’ve learned that they are terrible to each other, even the ones you call friends. I know it might have just been at that age, but part of me doesn’t forget. I confronted the girl about what she had done to me a couple of years later, and she denied knowing that I had had a crush on him at the time.

Once I got to high school, I expected everything to be different. I planned on making new friends, being able to get away from all of the people of my middle school years, and move on with my life so that I could be happy. It didn’t work that way. First year of high school, almost everyone from middle school went to my high school. I ended up hanging out with the same group of people from middle school, and felt even more out of place. It wasn’t until grade 10 that I started hanging out with new people. I found out that my place is with a nerdier group of people, and it took me some time to accept that that was who I was. I realized, though, that the stereotypes you put on people are often completely wrong.

Even more importantly, as I started spending time with new people, I began to worry less about my appearance, and focus on more important things. I realized that being smart isn’t a bad thing. Having curves doesn’t make you fat. And being introverted at times is perfectly okay.

It took me a long time to find things that make me happy. I started getting bit into fitness, and started looking at food as nutrition, not just inevitable fat. I now cherish the things about my personality that make me interesting, like my odd sense of humour. Finding people who are more like me really has helped me to accept who I am and realize that there isn’t anything I can do to change it.

Being thinner doesn’t make me happier, but being fit and having a positive self image does. I also thought being more outgoing would lead to more friends, but it turns out I’m the kind of person who would rather have a small group of close friends than a big group of acquaintances.

Anyways, I just want to say that for all those people struggling through high school, I know it sucks. But it gets easier when you stop pretending and learn to accept yourself for who you are. Even if you feel like there aren’t people like you out there, there are. You just have to find them.

And when you do, everything will change. I promise.

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About janinerussell

The transition to adulthood; reflecting on the past to create a better future.

3 responses to “Learning to Love Yourself”

  1. catdiggedydog says :

    Hi! I really liked this post. I’m in high school, and it seems as though you’ve recently graduated, so I think we might have a lot in common. I definitely feel as though when I came to high school, I was disappointed by all the things that I had expected that I didn’t find. High school is a lot more studying and schoolwork than partying and privileges than I expected. But yes, I agree, I feel as though when you finally accept who you are and what kind of people you ought to surround yourself with, then life gets a lot easier. πŸ™‚
    It’d be awesome if you checked out my blog! neverstationary.wordpress.com
    Thanks! and great post! It flowed very well πŸ™‚

    • janinerussell says :

      Thanks for the feedback! Yep I graduated just over two years ago. I definitely understand what you mean about the surprising lack of privileges. For me, even in my second year of university I still felt smothered by my parents, which in the end is why I decided to leave. Good to know I’m not the only one who didn’t get what they expected!

  2. purpleperceptions says :

    This is just so, so, so! awesome. πŸ™‚ It feels like youre writing every single word for me. No, really. I had exactly the same issues, and they got amplified when I started college. For all purposes I was an extrivert living as an introvert. I’m studying away from home, and the culture shock was terrible. My accent was really pronounced, I was comfort eating like never before, the couple of friends I had moved away after a year, so it back to square one. I made a couple of friends, a guy and a girl, and for once things stabilized. Till the girl started crushing on the guy, who was the only guy in class that didn’y worship her. One thing led to another and the guy basically exposed her whole dramatic bitchy plot. My life’s a freaking soap opera, but with the message at the end of the show pretty loud and clear. I still hang out with girls once in a while but my only good friends are guys. I’ve learnt my lesson. And they’re amazing guys too. They’re one of the reason my crippled self esteem is back on its feet. And I’ve grown a spine. It feels great. πŸ™‚

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