Freedom | Teen Ink


July 2, 2012
By MikaylaT BRONZE, Exeter, New Hampshire
MikaylaT BRONZE, Exeter, New Hampshire
3 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
In that moment, I swear we were infinite.

Freedom is a word that could hold many meanings. It could mean anything from being free of schoolwork to being free and open with your sexuality. To me, at this point in my life, it means being free of conforming to fit others’ expectations. Nothing I do, nothing anyone can do, is perfect. There will always be someone out there that can write better than you, sing better, dance better and so on. Even if you’re not perfect at something, as long as you enjoy it, that shouldn’t stop you.

This summer, I learned so many valuable lessons. Before, I was a girl who would let the smallest things get to me. If someone on Facebook called me fat, ugly, or stupid, I would start crying and feel absolutely worthless. Before, I was someone who would get stressed every morning about how I looked. I would take hours trying to perfect my outfit and makeup, just to impress the boys in my class. I was so insecure about my teeth that I would rarely smile. I would spend everyday sucking in my stomach to appear skinnier. I would get stressed as soon as a teacher assigned a project, as I wanted mine to be perfect. I’ve always been a bit of a perfectionist, and in the long run, it was hurting me more than helping. I remember one night I was up until one in the morning trying to perfect a poster that was due the next day. I was on the floor crying, just because I thought mine wouldn’t be good enough.

Guy after guy would play me. I would spend nights texting and flirting with a boy I really liked, only to have him hook up with my best friend the next day. Many times I would spend hours talking to a boy, only to have him just stop talking to me at once. This made me so insecure, and it was horrible how badly it affected me. I couldn’t even look in the mirror, as I was so ashamed of myself. I would ask myself, “Why? Why am I not good enough for him? What’s wrong with me?” No matter what, I couldn’t escape.

That brings up the topic of friends. It took so long for me to find a “best friend.” I never got along well with girls, so the majority of my friends were guys. The only problem with this was that I would end up falling for them. They’d eventually figure out I liked them as more than a friend, and slowly pull away until they disappeared from my life. Girls were always a lot of drama to me. They would purposely try to screw things up with my crush, they would never listen what I had to say, and they would just hurt me and use me. I don’t know how many times my so-called “friends” only talked to me because they needed something. I eventually started hanging out with the wrong crowd.

This was the year that changed everything for me. I finally escaped from the people who brought me down. I fit in with an amazing group of people. We call ourselves the Nerd Herd, and we’re proud. We don’t let people get to us like that anymore. I can look in the mirror now and actually like what I see staring back at me. I’m okay with being single, and I’m okay with not having hundreds and hundreds of friends. It doesn’t scare me anymore to ask for extra help in school if I need it. I like who I am now.

If you take one thing from this little ramble of mine, let it be this: BE YOURSELF. I know, it seems hard to do when you’re a teenager. Maybe you don’t know exactly who you are yet, and that’s okay. But don’t try to be someone that you know you’re not. The friends you surround yourself with need to be accepting of you and your personality. If you spend your whole life living as someone else, you may lose sight of who you really are.

The author's comments:
This was inspired by the theme for July: freedom. I want others to know that they WILL be okay, and to be themselves.

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