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Bridges High School, Carbondale, Colorado

Growing up wasn’t all fun and games because I was always making excuses and  believed that I was a mistake. I was always shy and didn’t express myself to others so I always felt empty and lonely. The only time I would feel good about myself was when I would play basketball at the park because I was good at it and I got to enjoy time by myself. I wouldn’t have to worry about anything other than getting the ball into the net.

It was interesting that I would feel so lonely when people were always around me. Maybe it was because I would space out when they were around? Sometimes I’d do that out of boredom then my friends would notice I wasn’t paying attention to them. Other times they wouldn’t even notice, which validated my feelings and loneliness. I would actually hang out with a lot of people but I never felt as if they truly cared about me. I would enjoy their presence only to pass time and get away from the house for a while. Nobody was ever really listening or caring about who I really was.

I always overthought all of my relationships and choices I made because I was seeing my friends make a lot of bad decisions. I never stood up for my values and would just go along with everyone instead.

I started getting into trouble with the cops and my family. This resulted in some community service, court hearings, talks with district attorneys, writing letters, and of course chores around the house as punishment. Most of my days would be spent in my room just laying down in bed with my thoughts. I would feel bad about myself and I would either be sleeping or just lying there staring at the ceiling.

Unfortunately, I never really learned how to stay out of trouble, I just learned how to cope with the punishments. I would find different things to do either around the house or out with friends.

Probation made me realize that you can have fun but it's not worth getting in trouble for it because it is even lonelier when you make poor choices. I started to think about my life more deeply the longer I stayed at home. I thought about how life would be if I kept on doing the same things. Every outcome was not good and I just didn’t like them. I needed to better myself somehow.

I started off by going to school more and picking up a new hobby. I started going to the gym and focusing on my physical health. After hitting the gym for a month or two, I started to learn more about myself and felt more confident.

I moved to Bridges High School which helped me start to socialize more and express myself more often. I started to build connections with the people around me and learned that my opinions were just as important as everyone else's. These changes were helping me a lot. I found myself staying out of trouble and focusing on bigger things like college.

After believing I was a mistake for a while, I learned not to ruin a good day thinking about a bad yesterday. Most things break your heart to fix your vision. You’re never going through things alone, there is always someone supporting you in some way even if you don’t see it. Being patient played a big part because I focused on the present and not the past. I started to be grateful for what happened to me and for everyone that was in my life. Your life is like a book, you are the narrator and only you can decide where life takes you.

© Jeovanny. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team and we can put you in touch with the author’s teacher.


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