Choose Love Series
I always felt like an outcast no matter where I was. I felt different from my friends and family and even strangers on the street. I couldn’t exactly say what it was that made me so unlike everyone else, but I always felt it.
Growing up, I tried really hard to fit in. All I wanted was to be accepted and find a place where I didn’t feel like an outsider. I did what everyone else did. I drank and cut class when that was considered the cool thing to do. I watched Keeping up with the Kardashians and even began dressing and talking like them when all of my friends did. I joined the right clubs and was the captain of my high school’s soccer team. From the outside looking in, I think I did a good job blending in. But no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t escape that little voice saying that I didn’t belong. I hated being different. I hated feeling like I was always a step behind everyone else.
Senior year, I applied for all of the same colleges as my four best friends and we all promised that we would choose our college together. The plan was to only go to a school that we were all accepted to. I went behind their backs and applied for 2 colleges out of state. I felt horrible and I honestly didn’t think that I would have been able to betray them and go to a different college anyway. But going to school up North had always been a dream of mine, so I knew I had to at least apply and give it a shot.
I was accepted to all of the schools I applied to, including my ultimate dream school in New York. The second I clicked on the e-mail and saw that I was accepted I knew I would go there. I waited a really long time to tell my friends and even pretended like I was going to go to the same university as them. When I finally told them they reacted even harsher than I imagined they would.
One of them whom I’d known since we were 4 years old, said that she knew I wasn’t going to go to school with them. She told me that she always felt like I thought I was better than them. The other girls piled on with other rude remarks.
I wanted to defend myself because I never thought I was better than them. In fact it was the complete opposite. I always thought they were better than me and I spent my whole life trying to catch up to them. It’s strange though because as they were insulting me and trying to guilt me into changing my mind, I never felt like a bad friend. I had deceived them and went against our promise to each other and I should have been feeling horrible. But I didn’t.
I had spent my whole life choosing everyone else. Being the person they wanted me to be. This was the first decision that I had ever made for myself and completely by myself and it felt great. For the first time in my life I felt like I belonged and it didn’t matter that I was standing alone.
I’m currently finishing up my first year of college and I couldn’t be happier. I don’t have as many friends as I did in high school. I don’t hang out with the “cool” crowd. But I get to be myself. I get to discover myself. What I like and dislike. The type of person I get along with and want to invest my energy in. I get to live my life and it’s all because I learned how to choose myself. I don’t know if you choose who you love or who loves you. But I do know that you get to choose which version of yourself you present to people. And I know it’s not always easy but you should always choose the version of yourself that you love.
Do you have a personal story for our Choose Love Series? If so, we would love to publish it. Submit stories to email@example.com. Learn more about our Choose Love Series here.