An Unpleasant Reflection

"A picture is worth more than a blank page. Take out those dusty photo albums. Pick out photo #14. Count however way you like, but make sure you stop at photo #14. Look at the photo for 2-3 minutes, write all the feelings that photograph made you feel. Don't censor yourself. Just write."

I was eighteen in this picture. It was the summer before college started, and I was suffering from what I thought was a broken heart. Later on in my freshman year of college, I came to realize what a broken heart really felt like, and all of that pain made this moment seem like child's play. But I wasn't there yet. At this moment, I had just graduated high school, and the boy I was dating snubbed me for a girl whose pants came off a lot more easily than mine did. I thought it was me. Maybe I was supposed to dumb myself down and slut myself up in order to fit in with this society. It was important that I proved myself to this guy that I could be fun too. I went to all of the coolest nightclubs (as cool as any 18+ club could have been anyway), and danced with as many random guys as I could to prove to this one guy that I was desirable. Simultaneously, I was using these nights out to prove to myself that I was good enough. For what? I didn't know. I still don't know. It wasn't long before I started to take a step back and ask myself, "What the heck am I doing with myself? Why am I doing this? Am I really lowering myself to fit the obviously low standards of a sleazy guy who couldn't care less about me?" This picture was the morning after one of my nights out, and I remember thinking to myself, "This is not who I am. None of this makes me happy. This is getting ridiculous, and it needs to stop before I become any more ridiculous." I have always had a hard time respecting those who failed to respect themselves, and in that moment, I definitely had a very hard time finding a way to respect myself. My image was all wrong. I didn't know who I was at the time, but I knew that I didn't want to be the girl who futilely chased a boy around just to prove that she was worth it. I knew I was worth it to someone who was worthy of me. I knew that I was better than the person I was trying to paint myself to be. I left the club scene after this. Don't get me wrong, I still like to go out from time to time to have a good time with my friends. I am not, in any way, against the bar or club scene. The difference today, however, is that I go out for my own fulfillment of being in the company of great friends. I dress appropriately and drink accordingly. I have tossed out the trashy tactics of minimal clothing and maximum makeup, and adopted a level of class that involves indulging in moderation, and enjoying life to its fullest extent. This picture is a reminder of the day that I pulled myself out of a mess before it became a disaster. What I felt in this picture was shame. What I feel now looking back, is pride. I'm proud of myself for realizing that I am better than what my insecurities fooled me into thinking I was. This was one of the lower points in my life, but I am thankful for those low points, because they motivate me to constantly strive to become a better person today than I was yesterday.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much! That really means a lot to me; I appreciate it! :)

  2. Good writing sample and also really good message to have others hear about your experience and how you changed things.

  3. This is a really great idea to find my 14th picture...hmmm I so wonder what that story would tell.

    I am in love with this theory: "adopted a level of class that involves indulging in moderation, and enjoying life to its fullest extent." yes. It's amazing that you are able to look back and clearly see your own progress as a woman.

    -Chymere Anais @