Write your story

Jack Delaney, Sports Writer

Externally, I am a happy and fun 16-year-old boy. Internally, I struggle with a lot of pain caused from
anxiety and bullying. We all hear the phrase, “New year, new me,” and now I am embracing that head on.

I never thought I would write my story of the past year because it is something I have kept a secret from most of my friends and family. One of my former friends, who graduated, teased me about the way I danced and even made comments about how skinny I was. I kept it all in and never told anyone how I felt. I did not want to create drama. I kept a happy face on and smiled externally through the immense pain internally.

Ever since this all happened, I have not looked at myself the same. I see someone with no talent, someone who does not score well at dance competitions and someone who just simply is not good enough for anything.

Being told by others that you are not good enough for something is hurtful. It viciously destroys one’s self-esteem.

The awful part about this mindset is that I have let it carry over to dance and show choir way too much. I constantly questioned how I made Xhilaration as a sophomore and even this year as a junior. I have questioned how I made the most advanced team at my studio last year. I have spent way too much time beating myself up on the inside for no reason.

It hasn’t been until recently this year that I’ve realized that no one’s opinion about me matters. I don’t need to lie awake at night thinking about what someone is going to say about me at school the next day. As long as I can be proud of the work I put in, that is the only thing that matters.

If there is one piece of advice to give to anyone else in the same boat as me it would be to shut out negativity. One of the greatest ways to do that is to surround yourself with the right people. Surround yourself with people who love and support you and not the people who weigh you down. For me, Ifind those people on my danceteam, show choir and newspaper. These people care about me and give me the tools to improve myself everyday. They have helped me focus on good qualities I possess instead of bad ones.

Another way to shut out the negative things people say about you is to block them on all forms of social media. It seems like such a simple task but I can say with complete honesty that it was the greatest thing I ever did. I no longer think about what this person will say behind my back.

There is always going to be someone who wants to bring you down. There is always going to be negative things said about you. However, there are always going to be people who want to build you up and make you better. If you are able to tell yourself that you are good enough for anyone or anything, then you have your life in the palm of your hand. Be the author of your own story.