Transformation Tuesday <3 *trigger warning*

So being today is Tuesday, I figured I would write about my transformation. So every week I see friends on my social media posting about their transformations. Many of these are men and women who have lost a ton of weight over a period of time. Well, today I realized that your transformation doesn’t necessarily have to be be a physical change. Yes, I am currently on my fitness journey, but I have only lost about 8 or 9 pounds at this point. BUT if you look at my transformation over the past few years on my personality and my self-esteem…woah mama. I have come quite a ways.

Let us time travel back to my junior and senior year of high school…we are going back to 2010 and 2011. So…take a walk with me. We pull up to a building with pillars like the Colosseum, large white pillars, and behind those lie three sets of double doors. We enter through the middle door, and walk down a dark hallway, that has some posters and announcements on the wall. At the end of the hall we turn right, and go up a set of stairs. We get to the top. To our right is a stage, and we can see red lockers on the other end, to our left is a set of blue lockers, with loud teenagers swearing, making out, and causing all kinds of ruckus. We end up going towards the blue lockers. About half way down the hall we see this young girl, about 16 or 17 years old, she has a dark blue long sleeved shirt on, or maybe it is black, black and pink earrings, hair that falls just below her chin, bangs covering one eye, and on the eye that we can see dark make-up that looks like she just got out of the pool.  She is embraced in the arms of a young man who is 17 or 18. Scruffy beard, glasses, and an oversized hoodie. He draws her near, brushes her hair out of her face, and kisses her forehead. She partially smiles, and grabs his hand as they start to walk toward the stage. But wait a minute…did you see that?? She pulled her sleeve down, and is holding her sleeve as they walk, it’s covering 6 to 10 cuts she made the night before. He didn’t think anything of it…it seemed like a normal routine for him. ***Now let’s stop for a minute…why on Earth would this beautiful girl, do such a thing. Why would her boyfriend…I’m assuming that’s who this guy is….wouldn’t say anything. Hmmm… let’s keep watching.*** As they walk hand in hand they get to another locker, he plays around with the lock, and opens his locker. She continues to stand there and just be quiet. A group of three guys come up to him, and say, “Hey man, did you see Shannon today? She looks hot…are we smoking later?” He responds, “Her ass looks great with those heels. Yeah…I’m assuming she (talking about the young blonde next to him) won’t be smoking….so I guess I’ll have to take her home or have her find her own way home, then I’ll join ya.” She continues to stare at the floor as these guys just walk slowly walk away laughing. She slowly looks up, and says so in almost a whisper, “Do I not matter to you? Why would you say those things?” She knew this was a bad idea, since he likes to cause scenes. He looks around (she knew what was coming, he was making sure no adults were around…that the teachers were nowhere in sight). He yells, loud enough for every person around to hear, “Stop being a f***ing bitch you dumb c*nt. I love you, and you know that, but stop acting like a bitch and wanting to be the center of attention.” He then whispers in her ear so only she can hear, “Now put on a smile, we don’t need anybody asking questions…hmm..or maybe if you cause too much of a scene I will just tell everybody why you always wear long sleeves.” He pulls her in, kisses her, and they part ways as they are going to class.  She knows they have wasted two of the three minutes to get to class. As she quickly rushes down the hall, she can hear the laughter as she just stares at the floor, holding back tears the whole way, and quickly finds her class, so she can sign out to use the restroom. She takes her bag with her…knowing this will allow her roughly 5 minutes instead of two minutes in the bathroom. Once she is in the stall she starts bawling, opens up her bookbag, and pulls out a sharp necklace. She uses this to slowly pierce her skin, she sees the blood, and a look of relief crosses her face. After a few seconds of watching this drop of crimson red run down her arm, she wipes it, puts the necklace away, and decides it is time to go back to class. She looks in the mirror, fixes her make-up, and puts on a smile, and heads back to class. Every day, day in, and day out this is what her life has become. It is almost as if she is running on auto pilot. It is the same thing every day.

Wow…what did we just watch? Why on Earth would somebody live like that…well the reality is, I lived that life for all of high school. It became a constant reality of my life. It was a cry out for help. Many people found out about my self harming, but lying became a way of my life. It was so easy for people to believe, “It was only one time.” Little did all these people know, it was from my freshman year of high school until my senior year of college. So 7 or 8 years of my life. It’s weird to think…your “best friend”, or your daughter, or son, or co-worker….that person you think you know so much about….there is a large chance you don’t know their inner struggles at all. But…let’s keep going. Remember, this is about my transformation…not a pitty party.

Anyways…let’s jump forward to current day. Quick re-cap of 2011-2016. Well graduation happened…yay. Now college time. Parents didn’t want me to go away, I did anyways…argued all the time about that. Felt like a failure. Shitty friends. One good friend, but he gave me tough love I didn’t want to hear.  Partied too much. Failed out of college. Wrote college, explained grandma died during finals. Let back into college. Realized holy freaking crap…I need to straighten my life out. Join service fraternity, too much drama, left fraternity, joined, left. Best friend goes to jail. Starts weekly individual and group counseling. Realize holy crap I’ve let this screw up my life. Starts student teaching. Told I am not a great teacher. Graduates with a “pointless” degree. Moves to Disney. Gets teaching job. Okay…we will start here. Wait…what?? You got a teaching job after you were told by many people you shouldn’t be a teacher? YUP! And I had a successful first year!

So….fast forward 6 months after I got my teaching job. We are going to travel again. Only this time to an amusement park.  We go down a side street, and see this girl with blonde hair that falls about mid-way down her back, sunglasses on her face, patiently waiting. She meets the person she is waiting for. Both of them hug, although they have just met, and walk together laughing, and smiling towards a bar to meet all of these people who would later become friends. Once their journey begins, the two of them are laughing, and introducing themselves. Hugs all around. ***Now wait a minute…are you as confused as I am? This girl who could barely look at and touch her boyfriend is now smiling and laughing with strangers? WHOA!!!*** As the day continues she meets so many more people. One person in particular catches her eye. The two of them flirt, and laugh, and later hold hands. Although a few weeks later they have decided they are better as friends. It doesn’t affect her. She just enjoys all of these people’s company. She goes out of her way to make others happy. She is messaging people who she hasn’t talked to in years to see how they are. She has a smile on her face, and is genuinely happy.

You may think there is no way possible that the first person and the second person could be the same person. Not in only five to ten years. Well they are. And, let me tell you one thing. The moment that you realize that this is your life, and that you can make a difference, and live your life for you, is the moment everything falls in place. If you feel you need help, don’t wait for others…get yourself the help you need. If you need a change in friends, slowly push them away…it will be better for both of you. Don’t “fall in love” with any old person. You don’t want somebody in your life who treats you like shit. He/she should be treating you like royalty. Above all else LIVE YOUR OWN LIFE!!! Do NOT let others run your life. When you start to finally see the positive in everything, instead of the negative, you will begin to love yourself, and be truly happy.