Throughout my entire experience being in public school, I became friends with several different kinds of people. I can say honestly and proudly, that the majority of these people are no longer in my life. As I strived to fit into the public school environment while also struggling with anxiety and depression, I became friends with people who were seemingly good for my self-growth. However, that was not at all the case when I became more educated about my self-worth.

The majority of my relationships, consisted in them telling me absolutely anything and everything about themselves. Throughout my life, people have always been extremely vulnerable towards opening up with me, seeing as I was encouraging and positively willing to listen to any of what they may be going through. Because of this, I began to notice a change in the attitude of my friends towards me. It became blatantly obvious that they were totally consumed with themselves and overall, they were not helping my self-growth.

I specifically recall a time period in tenth grade in which I became friends with an array of people and we had our own “friend group.” This was the first, only, and most toxic friend group I have ever been a part of. I have always been an introvert so being introduced to this kind of relationship dynamic showed me how valuable my own being was and that I was obviously taken for granted. Most of these individuals were so consumed with themselves that they simply neglected to understand the kind of person I was. All of these people, other than one, were extremely immature and uneducated.

In the following years of my high school career, I began slowly removing people from my life that were obviously toxic. I became much more independent and self-motivated as I began to realize, I am the only one to fully understand the extent of my mental battles as well as my self-worth. I started using social media as a means to express myself, rather than a means to impress other people. I began to love myself.

Although, I had few friends, I have made long lasting and nurturing relationships with people whom I am incredibly grateful for. My siblings, for example, are my best friends and I have so much love that should not be taken for granted and I was able to spread my love with them. Along with this, my best friend Sara, has been my best friend since we were about five years old. I cannot express enough how thankful I am for this girl, she is the most encouraging and wonderful human being I know.

As I also began to start working, my career at Wyndridge Farm was one in which I was incredibly undermined and taken for granted. However, during this time, I built a relationship with someone I truly cherish. Ellen Manning had consistently built me up and encouraged me, even though I was constantly undermined by the immature owners of this business. She was my manager and also one of the major influences in my life. I had never seen so much strength in one person until meeting her. She truly changed my perspective of myself and my potential. She showed me compassion and love through an extremely toxic environment. She was also incredibly undermined in her position as manager, making our relationship grow even stronger. I have an endless amount of thankfulness and love for this relationship.

As far as dating was concerned, I have never been one to dwell on the idea of being single. In fact, I took advantage of it and began to see myself through the eyes of love. Seeing as I have so much love, it is very rarely reciprocated back in the same manner and I am fully aware of what I deserve so I am absolutely not willing to accept less than my worth. I am incredibly grateful for the people in my life and though, I do wish to be in a relationship at times, I know I do not need one. I only need myself and my confidence goes far beyond the treatment I have been given in past relationships. I am dedicated and loyal. This quality has been used beyond compare, making my attitude incredibly steadfast towards the idea of finding someone who appreciates me for all that I am.

All in all, I have so much love and compassion that is utterly unmatched. This will always be taken for granted by some individuals, but this does not have the strength to deteriorate my self-respect and self-love.

Featuring my beautiful sister, Autumn 

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