We Are America

Voices of the Nation's Future

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Photo ofGabby Vazquez
I was in freshman year trying to put myself out there. I thought that people would be more judgmental because I was finally in high school, but it was the complete opposite. In high school no one really cares about anyone other than themselves and it took me awhile to realize that. For example, when quarantine started you were able to see who your true friends were because they stuck around for you in a very rough time. 

During quarantine I met a really good friend of mine and she decided she wanted to find me a boyfriend. So she gave me this guy’s Snapchat and it was an immediate connection. I decided I really liked this guy and wanted to make something out of it. We both decided to take the next step and meet up with each other. This was a big step for the both of us because we really liked each other.

I was at the mall one day and he asked me what I was doing. I told him I was at the mall. Then he decided it would be a good idea to just show up at the store I was in and come up behind me and scare me. This was the first time we ever met and it was a breathtaking feeling. After about a month of talking, he decided to ask me to be his girlfriend, and of course, I said yes. Even though this seems sweet, he chose the worst day to ask me to be his girlfriend because I had just broken my finger and a couple days later I got COVID, so we couldn't even see each other. 

That just goes to show that things don’t always end up the way we want them to. I wanted to be happy and I thought having a boyfriend would help me feel good about myself. We were dating for about 8 months, but towards the end of our relationship things started to change in a terrible way. I realized we were becoming toxic and that we both needed to grow up and figure out how to make ourselves happy without relying on each other for that happiness. This was a mutual breakup, but it was still heartbreaking for me because he was my first love and I will always have a special place for him in my heart. However, I wish things could’ve ended on better terms because he was my best friend and I wish we could have a good relationship like we used to have. 

After things ended with the two of us I did not know what I was worth and I relied on other people for my happiness. Now I realize that I am worth so much more than I ever thought and I am starting to learn how to make myself happy again. I remember this quote from the _Lion King_ when Rafiki said, "The past can hurt, but the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it". When I watched this movie as a young child I never understood what Rafiki was trying to teach us, but now I know. This quote showed me that it’s okay to be sad, but you can not dwell on the past.

I truly believe that I have learned from this experience because now I know that I do not need anyone to be happy other than myself. Although losing him was heartbreaking for me, I now know what to look out for in future relationships. I know breakups can be hard because you lose something that was so precious to you, but if it’s meant to be then it will work out in the long run because things happen for a reason.

© Gabby Vazquez. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person's teacher.