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Rodney Hardy: “Finding Self Love”

This I Believe

I believe in change, change is definitely not something that just happens instantly. Change doesn’t always happen within a few hours, days, weeks, and or even months.

I believe that change only can occur with a lot of time and effort. I’m still working on the change within myself. With balancing school, a job, and other family matters life can seem very stressful.

There were times where I felt like giving up and times where I contemplated if anything I felt working towards was worth it.

Around all my high school life, I surrounded myself with people who I thought made me happy. On top of that I had toxic relationships throughout that time that didn’t bring me real happiness or even love.

I struggled with these issues and let them build up on me like my homework for school. I couldn’t seem to find much motivation. My attention and my brain being scattered all over the place with responsibilities and other people’s problems.

I’m a very caring person at heart and at times people took my kindness for a weakness. People would walk over me. I would not speak up on how I felt for a very long time.

My friends would call me often to talk about their own issues and tough problems they faced in life. I’d listen to them and try to help them find the best possible solutions to whatever challenge blocked their path.

I didn’t give myself any time to think about my own problems I faced in life. The result of these actions was leaving me in a place where I felt like I didn’t know myself or who I was. It is kind of hard to explain for more socially organized people.

Long after high school, I was put into work at a mechanical company due to my parents pressure and me not knowing what to do after high school.

For about 10 months, I would have to wake up around 3 a.m. and drive an hour to two hours to the assigned construction sites. At this point I had become stressed out due to the heavy workload and deep disinterest in the activities at work. On the jobsite were a lot of negative people who looked down on me for my skin color or how I carried myself.

This only furthered my anxiety about being on the job and left me with the feeling of not belonging. This also gave the impression of feeling trapped.

Eventually, after that long ten months, I left the job and decided to go back to school full time to work towards something that I would find more enjoyable to do in the long run.

During my last drive from the construction site, I had the thought of why I feel the way I did.

Why did I serve as a “verbal punch bag” for everyone else? Why did I not like to open up about my passion for things and problems that weighed down on me?

I asked myself these questions and turned my radio off. Then I sat in silence questioning myself leading to multiple epiphanies. I knew I had a long road of self work before anything could change in my life.

I am not spiritual or religious in any way shape or form, but things over time did seem to fall into place.

From then on, I spent my days trying to find out more about myself and ended up learning who I was as a person. With this I developed a sense of self love. This is something that I haven’t felt since my childhood. This was for what I believe to be one of the most important things I found in life.

Self love can take you very far. It also brings on this feeling of knowing your self worth and knowing you can achieve anything you put your mind to.

I have met multiple students around my age group who have been in a bad place with stress, anxiety, and depression. With them, I share this story and my experience. I can’t stress it enough to express how change takes time but pays off in the end.

I can understand how everyone wants instant change, but sadly that’s not how things always go. You appreciate things so much more when all the hard work finally can come to an end when you reach that goal.

I hope my story changes the reader’s perspective on life and anything that it may bring their way. It’s never too late to change.

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(Read all the pieces in This I Believe; Featured image by Quinn Dombrowski)

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