What I Wish I Knew in High School
I’m 21-years-old now, far from the 15-year-old I once was yet still so close and familiar. I know that I am different, that I have grown. I can make a list of superficial, mental, and emotional ways I am different from the insecure, brace-faced, wide-eyed girl I once was. Though, there is one huge difference that stands out to me and it didn’t come to mind until recently. I mean, it should have but that is yet again due to an issue with our society. I didn’t realize it until seeing my sister’s freshman year high school experience from an outside perspective.
So, what has changed?
How I define myself.
I no longer define myself by the opposite sex. I no longer define myself by how I am seen by the opposite sex or by the amount of attention they give me. I derived “perceived” happiness from this said attention. I grew upset and unhappy with myself when I did not get that attention. It all stemmed from insecurities and how I connected my self-worth and happiness to guys.
There are many things I wish I knew in high school like adulthood sucks, living in the moment, and that people come and go. I do not have regrets, although I do wish I knew that the opposite sex or even what people thought of me did NOT define me. I was the type of person to pretend that I did not care about how I was perceived- I did. I cared way more than I let on. Someone dear to my heart once told me that what people think of you is none of your business. Now whenever I find myself worrying about how I am perceived or what people are saying behind my back, I simply tell myself it is none of my business. It works because it is the truth.
The only person that can define you is you.
I have learned that I can define myself through kindness, perseverance, and positivity. My actions and deeds define me as a good person. The “definition” I received from guys was not nearly enough and would never be enough. Being told you’re hot will not fulfill you….seriously, an adjective used for temperature will not define you. Another human being will not solely define you or make you whole. You define yourself and make yourself whole.
If we wait around for someone to define us or fulfill us, we are not living- just merely waiting.
Get all gussied up for your own enjoyment.
Compliment yourself/others (not just physically).
Be positive and lift each other up.
Share your wisdom and experiences with those who need it.
I was inspired to write this after a conversation I had with my 15-year-old sister.