you are enough. and you don’t need a signifcant other to prove that.

As a quiet, observant teenager I notice a lot of things.

I see stories, I see people, I see things no one else sees.

But there’s one specific thing I’ve seen that really bothers the hell out of me.

And that specific thing, I’ve seen in the actions of my own generation, in kids of my own age… in me.

Teenagers have built a toxic mentality when it comes to having or falling for a significant other. 

I’ve seen it in television, in my friends, and as I said before, in me.

You see, when I was falling for Phoenix I did things I’m not proud of: I put him in the forefront of my mind. 

The only texts I cared about was his.

The only smile I cared to see was his.

The only person I wanted to hug was him.

There was even a time when I used to pick my friend up after her first period last year and half of the reason why I wanted to was because he was in her class (half, I still wanted to see my friend… but that doesn’t justify my mentality).

But it’s not only me who does this.

In the past week only, I’ve seen my friends do it too.

My best friend, Luna, has liked her crush for 3 years. She’s a very closed off person and is very unemotional. So it’s hard to talk to her about things or have her talk about her feelings.

I don’t like her crush. He’s not good for her. And her mentality is truly toxic. She’s the type of person that, if she were to fall in love, she would love the guy 100%. And she would love him and not love herself, the only way she could love herself was if he loved her for herself… if that makes sense. And it pisses me off because she deserves so much more than a guy. But a guy and loving a guy is the only thing on her mind.

The only thing on our, teenagers, minds.

So I showed her something that hurt and she was unemotional about it. I asked her why she doesn’t care and she told me she’s pretty much unemotional about things… unless it involves her family or him. Him. Basically, she said she doesn’t care about anything unless it involves this guy. That made me mad.

Not only at her, but for her. Because her mentality is so focused on a guy that she doesn’t even realize the toxicity of it.

But I can’t be mad at her because I used to be her.

I mean Phoenix wasn’t the only thing that made me emotional over the past year, but whether I talked to him or not it determined my mood for the day sometimes.

And I couldn’t control it.

And another example, one of the many things Luna cares about it how fast her crush replies to her text. This week, he took 4 days to reply to a text of hers. That was pretty much one of the only things on her mind.

When she told me that (through text), I didn’t reply to her text.

Because of a text? Really? It’s only been 4 days. As long as you know he’s going to reply it’s all good. At least be thankful you know he’s going to reply.

She, again, pissed me off.

Why? Because she puts all of her efforts into pleasing this guy? Yes. But also I can see pieces of the girl I used to be in her. The pieces of a girl who was falling headfirst before thinking about herself; pieces of a girl before heartbreak, pieces of a girl who put a guy at the forefront of everything in her life.

And it scares me. Because I honestly can’t do anything for her. She knows what happened with Phoenix: all the heartbreak, overthinking, and tears. I even told her before that I don’t want her to feel the way I felt over Phoenix. But it won’t change her mentality. Because this guy is “all she has.” There’s no one falling for her. So she falls for the only person she can fall for in her life.

And I haven’t only seen this in Luna, but my other friends.

This week at lunch, one of my friends said that she wants a boyfriend. Because she wants someone to hold her, give her cute hugs and all that. Make her happy. My other friend, Hydra, agreed with her.

Why?

I don’t understand it. I mean, I do, I’ve lived through it. But why are we like this?

When my friend said she wanted hugs and happiness I thought, “Don’t we,  your friends, give that to you? Isn’t that enough?”

Isn’t it enough? Isn’t the love of friends and the love of yourself enough?

Why isn’t it enough? Why doesn’t it feel like it’s enough?

Why is it that as teenagers we always chase after someone? I know for a fact one of the reasons I wanted Phoenix so much was because I just wanted cute hugs and hand-holding. But can’t my friends give that to me?

Actually… my friends do give that to me. But the difference is, when they hug me I ACTUALLY feel safe and loved, something Phoenix has never made me feel. Because, as much as I can force myself to believe something that’s not true… at the end of the day, I can’t force him to care about me as much as I care about him.

And I’m learning to accept that.

I know. Most of my friends would yell at me for not trying harder with him because maybe if I tried a little harder he would be my boyfriend. I’m in a place with him that my friends would love to be in.

A crush who actually knows your name, your personality, and knows you for who you are.

But I don’t want more… anymore.

I don’t want to force something that isn’t there.

I’m not in a place where a boyfriend would be a good choice.

I’ve never been in a relationship. Personally, it scares me. And I don’t think jumping into one is the best choice. Especially if I am “right there.”

I want to love myself before being given the opportunity to love someone else. Because maybe if I told Phoenix sooner, we would be in a relationship and I would’ve eventually fallen in love with him. But it wouldn’t have been right, to him or me.

Because there are times when I still can’t look in a mirror and moments where I find it hard to love myself.

And that’s the problem.

Society has toxified our minds.

Making us think that the only way we can love ourselves and feel “complete” is if we had someone else, a significant other, to do it for us.

But how do you expect to love someone if you can’t even love yourself?

And what would you do with yourself if that person suddenly didn’t love you anymore? Would you suddenly not love yourself anymore? Because you weren’t enough?

What is it with us and thinking we aren’t enough?

We. Are. So. Enough. It’s. Actually. Inexplainable. How. Enough. We. Are.

Yes, having a significant other to hold and be happy with would be nice… but it shouldn’t be because we feel empty inside.

It should be because we feel whole and okay that we want to share that wholeness with someone else.

It shouldn’t be because we need to be saved.

Because that person’s purpose isn’t gonna be to save you. Only you can save yourself.

Our friends, family, ourselves… that’s enough.

Just because the person you really want to talk to isn’t talking to you doesn’t mean you should treat the actual people who love you like crap.

There are some incredible people that are here for you.

Don’t take them for granted just because that one boy or girl doesn’t like you.

We have our whole lives to live and to fall in love.

Do you really wanna think back and only remember the days that went by hoping some irrelevant crush texted you or not?

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Your Standards Won’t Fool Me

In our lives, at a given point we were judged. We were judged and we believed that we had to achieve someone else’s standards of “perfect.”

For me it happened when I was a kid. People always told me I was too skinny and too small. No matter where I would go someone would call me skinny. I mean the height thing bothered me for a while because I never truly understood why I had to be, in comparison, smaller than other people. But over the years I’ve embraced my height. But the thing that always bothered me was the weight thing. People actually assumed that I didn’t eat at all. I mean if I didn’t eat at all how was I still alive? I really wish I knew I didn’t have to believe them back then. Whenever someone would tell me I’m “too skinny.” I would believe them and I would try to fit their standard. I tried eating more so I could prove them wrong. But no matter what I couldn’t please them. The worst part was that this was always coming from my extended family. Relatives. People that should love me for who I am. But they didn’t. They always saw some flaw in me. My relatives are very judgmental. For a while in my life I thought I had to please them. That I actually had to please them for my benefit to gain their acceptance. But thankfully, over the years I’ve learned that I don’t have to fit to people’s standards.

Because what others think about me doesn’t even come close to what I think of myself.

I’m really glad I learned this before it became a severe issue during the rest of my life. But I hope you know that you don’t have to be anyone you’re not and you don’t have to fall under anyone’s standards.

You know how I ultimately figured all of this out?

Once I wasn’t in the best mood. Blame me for having feelings and emotions. Someone asks me “Why I don’t smile enough.”

Once I was in a good mood. I was happy one day because I was with my friends. One of the people I casually talk to every other day asks me “Why I smile too much.”

Funny, huh? I’ve been told why I don’t smile enough and why I smile too much. Polar opposites of each other.

No matter what you do you can never please “them.” “They,” whoever they are, will always find a flaw in you. You have to learn to overcome it and not let it bother you. Even though I’ve overcome “standards”, people still tell me I’m too “this” or too “that.” But, I never let them win. I believe what I believe. I know what I am. Why should I please someone to achieve their standard of “perfect?” Perfect, like it or not, doesn’t exist. Nobody on this earth is perfect. Everybody has flaws, everybody makes mistakes. But when you’re the person to call someone else out on their “flaws” and you think they should fix it, that’s when you become the jerk. Don’t be the jerk. Don’t ask someone why they’re this way or that way. Worry about yourself. Believe that you’re you. You will always be you. Believe that no one’s opinion of you will overcome your opinion of you.

What You Want Me To Be

I wish I was what you wanted me to be.

Nope scratch that. I never want to be what you want me to be. You want me to be tall? Well too bad I’m short as can be. You want me to be more outgoing? I’m more on the reserved side, thanks.

I never want to be what you want from me. Because I know that whatever you want from me will never be enough for you. And I’m ok with that. So deal with it. Deal with my “flaws” Even though I wouldn’t call it flaws I would call it me. And me is doing just fine on her own.

I’m Weak, I’m Hoplessly Strong

I don’t know… I really don’t know. I don’t know how I’ve been able to stay strong for so long. I just can’t anymore. I can’t put a smile on my face anymore. There’s too much pain. Pain in my heart. I’m pretty sure if you look at my heart it just has the word BROKEN on it. I really don’t know how I’ve stayed strong this long.

I went to South Carolina this week, which is about 7 hours away from where I live. My family and I drove there on Wednesday, stayed the whole day Thursday, and drove all the way back home on Friday. On our last day while I was packing up everything to leave the hotel I thought about the word homesick. If I missed home at all, and not like the home, where I live, but the people that I see almost everyday or every week, the church that I go to every week, the general feeling of “home.” And I concluded that I wasn’t homesick at all. I actually didn’t want to leave South Carolina. Not because of the fact that it’s beautiful there and it’s probably the last vacation before school starts. But, because I didn’t want to go back to the life. The life that I don’t enjoy. The life where I am so broken. The life where people break me beyond compare.

Just today I’ve been broken so much. Today someone called me Ruth. And I mean I wasn’t really offended by the person who called me Ruth but I was more offended by the fact that I’ve been in this place for 15 years and hardly anyone knows who I am. If you exclude relatives and old classmates, nobody knows who I am. None of my youth leaders, none of them know who I literally am. They don’t know my name. They don’t know anything and I’ve known them for like 2 years. And the people who do know me never say anything to me. They don’t say hello. They don’t smile at me. I know if I want to talk to them I could just start the conversation. But, I just can’t. Because I know they might not reciprocate my hello. Example? Today, the same day, while all of this other crap is happening I see one of my friends. So he passes me by and I just thought he didn’t see me so I bumped his shoulder and said hello to him. And you guys can not even comprehend the pain I was feeling in this moment. He looked so pissed off at me. He didn’t even say hi or anything. You know what I got in return? One of those pity waves. A pity wave. He looked so annoyed at me. Which doesn’t make sense because just last week he was hugging me and smiling at me. And I haven’t even seen him since then, and I didn’t even begin anything to make him so pissed off at me. This is why I don’t start conversations.

People who have been pivotal characters in my life don’t even say hello to me. Strangers act nicer than these people. This is why I didn’t want to leave South Carolina. Because I didn’t know anyone there. And that was so glorious. I didn’t have people giving me judgmental looks, because they didn’t know me. Nobody judged me over there. Nobody knew who I was. They couldn’t label me. They couldn’t talk about me. Because they didn’t know me. Not at all. I could just live for a while. And I want to go back to that feeling. I hate having to fake a smile just to try to convince myself that I’m strong. But I’m not. I’m tired. I’m getting weaker. Have you ever heard something like “Too much happiness causes unhappiness?” I didn’t really believe it earlier. But now whenever I cry I just remember that. I’m so afraid of being too happy because there’s gonna be some pain at the end of the road. And it’s so frustrating. I don’t want to cry anymore. I don’t want to be left alone anymore. I want to be happy. I’m pretty sure you’ve heard this quote.

“My only goal in life right now is to be happy. Genuinely, intensely and consistently happy.”

This is the only thing I want. To be genuinely happy. To be intensely happy. To be consistently happy. I just want to stay happy. I’m so tired of the pain that I feel. So tired. And so weak. But I have to put on a brave face, even if it always hurts. I have to stay strong. Hopelessly strong. Now you know.

I Don’t Only Miss You.. I Miss Me

Boy I miss you, said I really do, boy I miss you
Now I understand that we’re better together

I miss him. We don’t go to the same school anymore. So it’s different. We go to the same church. But it’s still different. We don’t really talk anymore. A few months after school ended he told me he missed me. He asked me if I missed him. I couldn’t respond. Like it wasn’t obvious enough. Now 11 months later and he can’t even look me in the eye when he passes me by. It hurts. I still miss him. He has a girlfriend. It’s good that he’s happy. But I don’t only miss him. I miss the person that I was when I was with him. I miss myself too. I was different, in a way, when I was with him. I didn’t have to be fake or anything. I didn’t have to impress him. I just had to be myself. And in a way he accepted that. He would say something witty traced with smugness. He would even have this signature smirk. And I would sass him. I don’t know it was just our thing. If I didn’t sass him then I wouldn’t be me in the conversation, and he would notice that. I’ll just miss that. I’ll miss me. It’s sad to think that you’ll never talk to someone again. You can remember the last words that you said to them. Or the month you said them in. I guess these are the life lessons that are taught without anyone actually teaching them to you. People help find out who you are as a person. Maybe they point out something you do that you didn’t even notice. I strongly believe that people are put in your life for a reason, not as a mistake. And I’ll probably always miss him. Maybe I was destined to miss him.