Losing Him to Love Me

Shivers go up to my spine as I remember high school as a thing of the past. Daily lunch runs at 11 a.m., high school sports, back-to-school nights, and the stress of AP classes. All these small moments accumulate into a beautiful story unique to each of us. For me, the moment that hurt most was losing a friend. Little did I know that this loss unraveled the secret to my happiness. 

I returned from my two-week India trip with pure excitement to see my friends. After sharing my new souvenirs with them, I saved the best one for my closest friend. I knew he would love the sparkling fabric keychain I bought him. However, when I approached him, he barely acknowledged me. I stood there, dumbfounded and numb. Did I say something wrong? Was I forgetting something more important? I mentally ran through a list of birthdays, sports games, and plans. No special occasion today. The rest of the day, any attempt of mine to contact him was deflected. I didn’t realize until later that I was subconsciously giving him the power to control my emotions. If he was annoyed, I was annoyed. If he was excited, I was excited. This unpredictable fluctuation of mood drove me to the point where I didn’t even know how I genuinely felt at any given moment.

sad girl in blue sweater near window

As our bond grew weaker, I spent more time in my own company. Amid the mental breakdowns and endless tears, I became more in tune with myself. I observed how I could still be happy without him. The small things such as a nourishing meal, a lively drive, and an uplifting song made me happier than any party or friendship. This transformation instilled the confidence and power in me to dictate my daily life without depending on someone else. I learned to love myself. 

“Loving myself” might sound like a cliché, but it was the key that welcomed a gateway of opportunities. I gradually stopped devoting time to people and things that were not fulfilling. My priorities, career goals, and personal aspirations became more important. This awareness allowed me to redirect my energy to make my dreams happen. Since transforming my  mindset, I got into my dream school, UC Berkeley, became a prominent content creator on TikTok, and developed a healthier relationship with my body. I know this is just the beginning. 

woman looking at her reflection in mirror

Now that I am in college, I am creating a supportive environment for myself. I am actively seeking positive company that pushes me to attain my goals. 

When I look back on high school, I realize how much time I wasted trying to make others happy or being interwoven with people too personally. This negatively impacted me because I never got the chance to become emotionally independent. Once I went through the doubt and pain of growing distant with someone, I capitalized on the opportunity to become self-reliant. I decided what made me happy, who was worth my time, and what I should be focusing on. As much as my friend hurt me, losing him unlocked the secret to my happiness.