You will succeed…
Success. One word that ultimately terrifies me to my core but also hopefully drives me towards my goals on a daily basis. When I was little, I remember being so carefree-all I wanted to do was help other people and the world was truly within the grasp of my hands so I didn’t worry about that one word just yet. In elementary school when filling out journals, I literally wrote out random combinations of letters hoping it would make sense to my teacher. Really, I was writing some “alien language” *insert laughter here*.
Every time I’d get my journal back the following week I was always greeted with the visual of a satisfying yellow, shiny sticker smiling back at me. To be honest, during the majority of my elementary school years I didn’t really care about writing or basic math skills. I cared more about the brownie I had packed for lunch or spending time with my best friend. Due to this continued behavior, I luckily scraped by passing into the following grades but needed help in resource with my math and English unlike most other students.
When it started becoming evident that I worked slower than most students is when the majority of bullying came in but it wasn’t just because of my work ethic. I wasn’t the cutest elementary schooler ever, my parents didn’t have money , I didn’t own brand name clothing, I was also slightly heavier, and I had the most horrific bob cut that looked like Coconut Head’s hair from “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide”.
The bullying continued well into grade six as well as new problems at home and my academic performance continued declining and I moved to a new school. Going to school for me during that time consisted of tons of zero’s on math tests and everything in between. I just didn’t care-I was so focused on just being myself and trying to support my family at the time that I wasn’t being a kid. Eventually I couldn’t just scrape by anymore and I almost got held back from being promoted to grade seven.
One day during the last month of classes, my teacher mentioned the French Immersion Program and for some odd reason I decided to challenge myself. Many people at the time discouraged me from taking the program considering my grades but I became driven to actually go somewhere in my life, get off the Island, and do something in my life that would matter and impact other people and so I had to pick up my weight. I started to worry about that one word, success.
To 12 year-old me,
I am so proud of you. Life at the time was ,frankly, scary as hell. For someone still so relatively young you had so much responsibility and too many things to worry about that someone your age should not. You should've not been worrying about what you can not control in others lives or allowing yourself to remain in a place you did not want to be, but it's your care for others that kept you there. I am proud that despite so many individuals thinking that you could not successfully be in the French Immersion Program, you did it anyway and you proved them wrong. You ended up being within the 96% percentile overall for academic performance and you KICKED ASS. There was so many things at the time trying to defy you and you looked fear right in the eyes and said “No, I can do this.”Even though you eventually had a falling out of the program due to increased anxiety and developing depression at the time and self harm, you successfully showed people wrong for almost two years. You found out your limits and even conquered them but eventually accepted you needed to help yourself. Overall, I could never be more proud of that jump you made that first day into the unknown.
Fast forward, I moved schools again for grade nine into my father’s house. I left out lots of details here but I was used to being the new kid. Things were tough and the majority of students didn’t like the fact I was a “townie”. For at least five months , no one really talked to me. By this time though I was a +90’s average student, I stopped self harming, and I was diligently working on being happy. Even until today with currently being in grade 11, a lot of curveballs came my way that I didn’t expect but I overcame them.
So dear current me,
Life will get hard. People will be mean. Not everyone will like you. You may never be able to afford all the brand name clothes. You may never look like a Kardashian. But you are beautiful. You are strong. You are passionate. And I love you. It may of taken many roller coaster rides for you to finally say to yourself that it’s so much better to just be yourself rather than what everyone else wants you to be, but you’re here now. You’re goofy. You’re loud but also quiet. And you work hard and know what you want. Though your desired occupation may forever be changing, you know one thing and that’s that you want to change the world in any smallest way and help anyone and everyone whether that’s someone on the side of the street or your closest friend. You have the biggest heart I know. Even until today there was so many things that could have defied you but you are here. You are still an over achieving +90’s student who will do things unimaginable. You are unique, not perfect. But screw perfect, unique is so much better. So be loud! Be goofy! Be YOU!
Have no fear of that one word. Success. You are success, you own it and every day here on out you will continue to do so. You are successful,