Chloe Smith

Growing up being very different from everyone else was hard. My thought process, ideas, and outlook on life is very different from not only my classmates but also my family. I always felt alone because even with all the support that I had I still felt like it was me against the world and in some ways I was. I was in 4th grade when my teacher told me that I wouldn't read above my grade level. I was in 4th grade when a person I considered my friend attacked me in a bathroom. She dragged me and clawed at me because I was making more friends than her and she wanted me all to herself. After the fight, I felt worthless and as if I really didn’t mean anything to anyone. As a little kid, you don't know how to process those feelings so you try the most unhealthy way to ease the pain which is to bottle up all those feelings and pretend that everything is fine. When really you go to your room, close the door and cry yourself to sleep telling yourself that everything is going to be okay. But, you are really just delaying those feelings that you shoved into a small box to set aside for later.

Well, boxes are meant to be opened and that small box where I put all my negative feelings burst open, which made 10th-grade year really hard because I had to face feelings that had been slowly poisoning my mind since 4th grade. Looking back on it I probably should have asked for help sooner from people like the amazing therapist I have today, or talking to the people I trust, maybe I would have been happier. Maybe I would be excited about the future. Help looks different for everyone and asking for it isn’t a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength. I felt alone in the 4th grade and I still feel alone now but I found that I like being both alone, and being around my friends and family. 

 I wouldn't change it because the stuff that happened to me because it gave me the strength that I have today. Being able to just give this speech is an accomplishment since I hate speaking in front of a crowd. To be able to get through school with covid going on and to be able to graduate is amazing to me. If you told 4th grade me that I would be graduating high school I think she would laugh. I wouldn't be who I am without my happy memories like traveling with my mom, going on adventures with my dad, playing video games, or hanging out with friends. My depressing memories also make up who I am, I wouldn’t be me without both. I would like to encourage you to be okay and comfortable in your own skin. Be comfortable with being you because you are one of a kind there's no one else in the world like you. I am beautifully broken and I love that about me.