Wearing Confidence

By Shreena Bhakta

“Do you have a Valentine, Shreena?” A girl in my class once asked me. “No, because nobody likes me,” I replied in a monotone voice, because the sentence has become my automatic response when anyone asks me about love. I participate in a lot of our podcasts about love, but I always start off by saying the same thing: “I don’t really know much about love because nobody likes me.”

And let me tell you, I’ve realized that that mindset is TOXIC.

I’ve had two major crushes in my life, and maybe I still have one, I’m not too sure. I haven’t gotten anywhere with him. We don’t talk anymore and we’re both too stubborn and shy to start a conversation. Because of this, I feel hopeless when it comes to love. There was a brief moment in time last year where this one boy went out of his way to say hi to me, to get me my papers, to talk and sit next to me. Maybe I was thinking too much of this, but it seemed like he liked me; I mean, like liked me. It all ended two days later. Since that time (freshman year) to now (sophomore year), I’ve gotten the idea into my head that nobody likes me. I saw my friends having crushes, people having crushes on my friends, some even getting into committed relationships. And then there was me. I wasn’t content being single. People would ask, “Are you dating anyone?” and my guarded walls would come up when I would say, “No, because nobody likes me.” This sentence made me feel not beautiful, not confident, and overall, not happy. I thought it was true, but after some time, I realized I was looking at this the entirely wrong way.

There is a girl by the name of Alivia D'Andrea who puts out videos on Youtube. I was watching a series of hers called “The Glow Up Diaries,” where she transforms herself both physically and mentally. Basically, her life “glows up” when she works to improve different aspects of herself by realizing that she has the power to change something. For example, she was unhappy with her eating habits, so it was her main mission to stop her binge eating and switch to healthier alternatives. Over the course of time, she ate healthy, worked out, became more organized and cleanly, cleared up her acne, and so much more. I was inspired by her and I wanted to do the same for myself, so that started a whole change in myself. I’ve started to become more organized, opened myself to more out of school activities, reached out to my friends to hang out, started to take vitamins daily, just becoming better at being me. I’ve become a much more positive and well rounded individual, and that’s what I wanted. I’ve established great self care, and it feels amazing to be who I am. It feels like I have the power to change how I feel about certain aspects of my life, which took me a while through this self care journey to learn. She also posted another video titled “‘No boys like me’ | Advice series,” which completely changed my outlook on love. (I highly suggest you watch it, no matter if you’ve found love or not!)

This video is exactly what I needed to hear. Instead of giving up hope when it comes to love, I am focusing on me and my passions, and I’m trying to figure out who I am. I can’t fall in love without knowing who I am and working to make myself the best that I can be. I’m in high school, and although there are a lot of downs, there are a lot of ups, too. I learned that I cannot let other people determine my worth. I should not seek validation from others because I am beautiful and valued. I know that whenever I am ready, and whenever that special boy is ready, we’ll have a great time together. But for now, I am going to be me. I am not going to hold back my thoughts or actions, because I don’t want to conceal the real me to the world. I want to end this with a quote from the beautiful and talented Blake Lively, and this doesn’t just apply to me, it applies to EVERYONE. “The most beautiful thing you can wear is confidence.” Go out there and be you. Life will pan out how it’s supposed to.