Posted Anna S. on 2/29/2016 |General
No one is alone in the battle that is life. No one, I promise you. But I must admit that I didn’t fully understand that my whole life. I always knew that I had God, but sometimes you get that feeling that you have to have someone you can see. I had friends; I had wonderful parents, and a great sister. But my parents and sister can’t be by my side at school, and in third and fourth grade, I hadn’t really found that group of friends that would clearly show me that they were there for me all the time. I was quiet and sometimes lonely. I wasn’t alone, but I didn’t realize it. Not until I joined Girls on the Run. Girls on the Run changed my perspective on life.
I believe that social status is something most kids and teens, maybe even adults, struggle with. People (including myself at the time) can’t always completely be themselves around others. You have to be what others want you to see. Yes, that was me. At home I let go and was who I wanted to be, but at school I tried to create the perfect friend and classmate everyone wants. But it wasn’t me. I am not perfect. I am not what everyone wants me to be. And at the time, that wasn’t okay with me. I had to be what my peers wanted. But then I went to Girls on the Run. When I signed up, I didn’t expect it to be anything more than getting some exercise while hearing the “be yourself” talk that I’d only heard about one million times already. But that’s not what it was at all. It was so much more.
It made an impact on me. I did not expect it to. It came as a surprise. And might I add, it was a nice surprise. One that would keep benefiting me for my whole life. Struggling with social status isn’t a problem that comes and goes with me. It lasts for a long time, unfortunately. And when I fight the voice in my head that tells me to be what others desire, it’s easier to not give in now. Because I know that I don’t have to travel solo in this life any longer. I have a lot of people standing by my side now. And I don’t know if I would be able to believe that if it weren’t for Girls on the Run.
It was the lessons on teamwork that got to me most. This is not to say that there weren’t other wonderful, important, impactful lessons taught at GOTR. But the ones that stuck out to me were the ones about teamwork, and also about being positive. Teamwork shows you that you have to work with others and communicate with them. When we did activities and lessons that were focused on teamwork, I saw that people would work together with me, that we all wanted to come together. Positivity comes in when you have to decide that you’re not going to keep others out, and wonder why they want in in the first place. You have to know that you are worth something, that you’re worth a lot. If you think you’re alone, you’ll probably end up being that way. You have to tell yourself that you are amazing. You can’t let others bring you down, but you can’t let them be the only ones to bring you up either. You are worth more than gold, but you have to know it.
The positive cord: here I am, years later, and I still remember it. We don’t remember everything in our lives. We remember some of the worst times, some of the best times, some of the most impactful times, some of the life-changing events. The lesson on the positive cord was all of those times in my life, except one of the worst. Of course I don’t remember exactly what the lesson was, but for as much as I can remember, it went like this: You have two “cords” in your brain. One is bubbly, shiny, bright, and sends positive messages. The other is dark and sends negative messages. A lot of the time, we find ourselves with the negative cord plugged in. We have to make the choice to “unplug” the “negative cord” and “plug in” the “positive cord.” We have the power, we just have to use it. Whether or not you know it all the time, you are the person that can have the most power of your feelings and decisions in life. You can change your mind about things. Yes...You! But I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s easy to bring yourself down about so many things in this life. So though I believe that the person who has the most power in my life is me, and in your life, you, we aren’t the only people who can bring a smile to our face and show us that we are not alone. Others can do that too.
Your peers can show you that you’re not alone, and maybe not all of them, but a lot of them will. When you can’t seem to be positive, you can lean on them and they will give you that strength until you can give it to yourself. Girls on the Run showed me that with the lessons that taught you to work together. My point with this is, you can’t always expect every single person to be a cheerleader for you, because you’ll just end up disappointed if you do that. But that certainly doesn’t mean that I don’t believe that a lot of people will be there for you. A certain lesson in GOTR showed me exactly that. Before we did the activity, the coaches picked out two people and talked to them, telling them that when we were playing the game they should try to be in the way, not be positive, and not work with their team. I can remember how frustrating it was with everyone else working together to accomplish our goal, but we had those two girls who wouldn’t cooperate. That lesson was powerful to me. It displayed that there will be a group of people who want the best for you and even if there’s someone standing in your way you can’t let them bring you down. And we didn’t. We didn’t let those girls bring us down; we achieved our goal! That lesson didn’t even stop teaching me stuff there. It also showed me that sometimes the people who stand in your way may turn around and become someone you love.
I am not shy, I am not lonely. I do not believe that I am alone in the battle that is life any longer. And I don’t just believe it, I know it. I have people that I can see who clearly show me that they’re there for me. I am not alone, and neither are you.
Thank you, Girls on the Run!