The truth is: sometimes people don’t like to watch you succeed, so they try to tear you down.
The truth is: sometimes people get jealous, so they pick on you.
The truth is: sometimes people feel threatened when you achieve or succeed, so they judge you.
The truth is: You are amazing, and you must stay strong, block the hate, and continue on your path.

Have you ever asked yourself, “Why is everyone so rude to me? I do not harm anyone” or “Why does everyone pick on me? I have been nothing but nice!” If I had a penny for each time I asked myself those exact questions, I would be a millionaire!!

Throughout my life, I experienced hatred, judgment, and bullying for things that I was proud of. For example, singing, art, tennis, pageantry, extracurriculars, and more! Throughout my life, I was made fun of for “overdoing it,” “acting like a mom,” and “looking like a princess.” I was referred to as “loser” or “goody-goody” for serving as my class president and engaging in class discussions. I was sarcastically referred to as “daddy’s little princess” for stating that I loved my dad, and many people mocked my love for tennis by continuously announcing, “Here comes Ms. tennis girl.” On top of that, whenever I wore new clothes or traveled, I was accused of “showing off” and was labeled as “conceited,” “spoiled,” and “extra.”

It seemed like everything I did, people had something negative to say, a flaw to point out, or made a joke of me. Other people’s input began to hurt a lot. I was mentally torn between hiding my light or shining. Isn’t that terrible? I was hesitant to SHINE! Why? Because I did not want to be laughed at, hated, or seen as a target anymore!

In the moment, I truly felt like I hit rock bottom, that everything I touched was a failure, and my confidence and comfort around people plummeted. I repeatedly worried, stressed, cried, and even screamed out of anger, rage, and frustration. I felt myself feeling suffocated and gasping for air. I felt myself hiding from who I was….

I was faced with two options: Shine and be labeled as a “loser” or hide my light and finally be “accepted.”

This is an extremely tough situation to be in because it feels like either way, you lose something. But to me, after a lot of thought, it seemed like a no brainer! If people are threatened by your success, make fun of your passions, or exclude you because you are talented and driven, then what kind of environment is that? Are those the people you deserve to be around? I then realized I was not the problem. The two options I was faced with made it clear….they revealed my current situation, opened my eyes, and granted me much needed confirmation.

Let’s take it in once more….

To shine and be labeled as a “loser” or hide my light and finally be “accepted.” In the moment, it seems like friendship and acceptance is a priority and the most rewarding; however, what is truly a priority and the most rewarding is your success, mental health, competence, and confidence. The worst thing you can do is compromise those things with the hopes of acceptance and fitting in.

Personally, I chose option 1: Shine and be labeled as a “loser.” I knew in my heart that hard work pays off. I knew in my heart, I was talented and blessed, so I was not willing to throw it away. I knew in my heart that I was valuable, deserving of acceptance, and unique!! Most importantly, I knew if I kept shining and loving who I was, it would pay off!! I wanted to continue to shine, to share my talents, to use my voice…I knew that I would eventually feel accepted, and until then, I was willing to be laughed at if it meant loving who I was. I knew more came out of loving myself than out of such toxic and fake relationships. I did not want to waste who I was and lose myself to be accepted!!

In life, if when you are a leader and you are liked by everyone, then you are doing something wrong. I realized the more people badmouthed me, the better I was. I realized people badmouth others when they are threatened or feel a sense of jealousy towards others. It is merely the truth.

Fast forward, over six years, the most happiness I have experienced came from my decision to shine and reject acceptance. I chose the route of walking alone, and even though it can be scary, sometimes it pays off.
The more you grow, the less fixated on popularity, and the more focused on yourself, you become!

Even now, numerous people badmouth me, judge me, and make fun of me for staying true to myself, my talents, my interests, my input in class discussions, my looks, my face, my style. Almost everything about me has been mocked…but I will never let the negativity of life or others tear me down and destroy me the way it once did when I was just a young girl.

I learned that friends at such a young age come and go, and at the end of the day, what matters most is your heart and your deeds. Those do not change. I have also learned to appreciate the gifts I have been blessed with. Most importantly, I have learned that not everyone will love and accept you, but that does not mean there is something wrong with you.

I was lucky to have had strong confidence as a young girl, but I cannot imagine how much more damage could have been done if I had not had the courage to walk the path alone and ignore the negativity.
If you ever experience this, please reach out! I would love to further discuss how I turned this negative into a positive and how it molded me into who I am. I genuinely believe this situation molded my character, allowed me to observe life maturely, and live life freely!

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