This I Believe

Lindsay - Donalsonville, Georgia
Entered on January 25, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

We Place Our Happiness in Other People’s Hands

I was once the kid that nobody liked. I was the weird, unattractive oddball with whom no one wanted to be friends. Chastised on a daily basis, I was left alone with only one person I could call a friend a” Katey.

Katey was much like me in the sense that neither of us could find a way to escape affliction from our peers. We were tormented from day to day for seemingly no reason at all. Attempting to justify our situation, we stated that there must be something wrong with us, something in our design that simply would not allow us to be liked. On the outside, everything appeared to be fine; we both seemed to be absorbing it all, completely oblivious to the harsh words and piercing stares that were thrown at us every day. However, internally, everything was much different.

As time progressed, so did our depression. The emotional burden laden upon us by our peers continued to increase, so much that neither of us was sure if we could endure the oppression much longer. Our personal outlook on life and perception of people had developed into a negative one, affecting every area of our lives. There was a war raging inside us, fighting to raise our self-esteem and overall happiness. The more I seemed to be winning the battle, the more Katey seemed to be losing. Her health began to diminish, and after losing forty pounds in three months, Katey was diagnosed with anorexia.

Too often we let our emotions be determined by those around us. We allow other people to control how we feel, what we think, and the way our lives are lived. We begin to lose touch with ourselves and essentially warrant other individuals to decide who we must be. This can ultimately lead to our downfall and leave us lost, wondering who we truly are. I believe we place our happiness in other peopleas hands. I believe that we let the opinions and beliefs of our peers arbitrate our thoughts and emotions rather than trying to obtain happiness on our own. True happiness will only come to the person who looks inside herself for what brings joy in her life.

Katey survived her struggle with anorexia. She transformed her disease into her stronghold, allowing it to strengthen her as well as others. Katey taught me that I should never let anyones conceptions affect me. No matter how detrimental people try to be, only we can control the way we choose to live our lives. In the end, I believe happiness is left in our own hands.