The road to inner happiness

It is December 30th, 2015. I’d never thought I’d end up where I am now. I began sophomore year optimistic, looking forward to beginning a new chapter after a successful summer. I was struggling at the time with finding out who I wanted to be and what I looked like. Slowly realizing how  “big” or “fat” I was,  insecurities came quickly. I’d taken interest in guys but they’d never taken much interest in me. My two bestfriends at the time, skinny and pretty with long hair, walking down the street with them was often painful for me. As boys would approach them throughout the day, asking for their numbers or trying to get their attention, I was left in the dust. Although boys my age hadn’t paid any attention to me, there was this one boy who caught my eye. Well dressed, goals for himself, heavily involved in extracurriculars, he’d seemed to meet my standards. We’d been friends for a little bit until I kind of developed a crush.

It was the last day of school before winter break, we all sat in class, huddled around, play fighting and laughing. I was giggling when suddenly he’d taken my phone. I had no problem when he’d asked for my password;

“ I am an open book, I have nothing to hide” I’d thought to myself.

“ What is it ?” he’d said for the second time

“ 8269, it’s my mom's birthday” I said proudly.

A few minutes had passed when I noticed he wasn’t engaged in the conversation.

“ What are you doing over there?” I asked making my way to his seat.

He dodged, I caught a glimpse of the screen, he’d been reading text messages from my best friend at the time and I. Throughout those messages were secrets that could have exposed her and I both. We wrestled for the phone until the period was over. As I packed up my things he walked passed placing my phone on the table;   

“I know something, you wanna know what I know?” he said.

I looked at him in suspicion, my stomach suddenly in knots and my heart beating fast I said

“Yeah, what do you know?”

“ What do you think I know?” he asked.

I became annoyed and nervous at the same time. I swore he knew that I liked him, walking down the hallway I was at a loss for words as he asked me every five seconds ;

“ tell me, what do you think I know?.... Huh” he said  

We’d gotten to our next class, I sat down, he sat next to me. His seat being all the way across the room I told him to leave and I’d text it to him. I pulled out my phone, opened kik messanger where I wrote;

“ I kind of have a crush on you.”  and pressed send.

Later that day I rushed out the classroom and out of the school avoiding any contact. Little did I know I wouldn’t get rejected and I would have entered a relationship that would have lasted almost a year, with on and offs.

I’d always been the girl to say “ I’d never let a boy effect my school work.” I’d prided myself on being a “good girl.” I’ve always had good grades, good friends, and a good life until I got my first “serious” boyfriend. I hadn’t completely thought about what I was getting myself into. I hadn’t even begun to pour love and all of my emotions into myself however, I decided to pour myself into someone else. I felt so mature, there were heart eyes and red heart emojis galore, we’d  talk about the future and our goals and aspiration however, things began to seem one sided. After the honeymoon stage we hit a rocky patch, the mature feeling was only a feeling and I learned for the first time that I didn’t know how to communicate. Being a public speaker, I’d thought of myself as an  eloquent  and confident speaker who spoke circles around those who would listen. This was until we had our first argument,  and suddenly I was mute.   I’d have nothing to say in front of him but in front of my friends I couldn’t stop talking and that was the problem.  He was  intimidating, he made me nervous and a little bit more insecure than I already was. I’d think that If I spoke my mind,  that instead of listening he’d run the other way,so I kept my mouth shut. He had a certain power over me that not even I had over myself.

On a day in mid-January we broke up for the first time. I went home and for the first time, I cried over a boy, About a week later, he texted me, telling me how much he missed me and how sorry he was that he wasn’t making time for me and that he’d try harder. I began comparing myself to girls I thought he wanted and overtime tearing myself apart. As I began to dig deeper into the puppy love that we had I began to stray farther from who I was and what I wanted, I was settling.  By settling I agreed to be treated without respect, to be the one in the relationship putting in enough emotion for both of us when the other was incapable of putting in emotion. Suddenly I found myself skipping class, lying to my dad, not doing homework or benchmarks because I was in my room crying or sleeping. My life as a student and as a young woman was taking a turn for the worst.

Growing up without a mom, I was not 100% sure how I should have been treated by a boy, overall I was not really taught what it meant to respect myself and know what it meant to know your worth. After sticking with this him through all of our ups and downs, being cheated on and left in the dust more than once I found happiness in myself. After realizing that I deserved better, that being treated without anything close to the amount of love or emotion you put into someone can be tiring. That not only did I deserve better but that I could have better. Over the course of the almost year long relationship I had lost weight and a begun to look at myself differently. I began to carry myself  like a young lady, with style and little bit of grace. I began to take a bit more pride in my appearance, I slowly began the road to inner happiness and realizing myself worth.I learned that how kind I am as a person can definitely be taken as a weakness. I spent a year not knowing who I was but trying to find myself in someone else.  

Comments (6)

Hadleigh Stammers (Student 2018)
Hadleigh Stammers

This essay is really good! I enjoyed getting to know these things about you and hearing about your journey to loving yourself without the approval of other people. I feel that although this essay is so personal, it definitely is a topic a lot of people, especially females, can relate to and possibly learn from!

Ryan King (Student 2018)
Ryan King

Sis this essay is so bomb. Really proud mom momment rn . I like the narrative tone and use of timeline within your story it really shows effort. (On a personal note )Yesssssssssssssss , Savannah ! We have walked and talked this topic for such a long time . Its been a tough journey but guess who got through it ? YOU did . You are finally realizing how much respect and attention you deserve and I applaud you for that because when this whole incident first happened I noticed all of the changes within both you and your paartner but because you see what every body else sees I am beyond happy for you. !!

Nadia Green (Student 2018)
Nadia Green
  1. I learned that she had self esteem and body issues that she was dealing with and tried to find her worth in a guy who she thought was being sincere.

  2. I liked that the essay flowed well and that there were a lot of details in the whole essay. I was able to place myself in her shoes and feel what she was feeling throughout the essay.

Opoku Kwateng (Student 2018)
Opoku Kwateng

I didn't know about the whole incident that happened in the summer, and I applaud you for being strong enough to share such a moment with us. I like the use of dialogue you had. It made it much more personal and helps the reader connect more.

Elizabeth Burrows (Student 2018)
Elizabeth Burrows

I was unaware of your self confidence, but it is really nice to hear someone admit to it and be open about such a personal issue many girls deal with. I really enjoyed how I could hear your voice through the writing and allowed me to really understand your point of view. This was really relatable to me in some ways and I really enjoyed reading it! You should be really proud!

Sopheary Sok (Student 2018)
Sopheary Sok

I didn't know that you used to feel that way about yourself, and I am glad that you are smart and strong enough to realize you deserve better. I liked that your essay was super relatable and it has a good ending.