My senior year of high school, Claire moved in down the street from me. Being on a military base, families were moving in and out all the time. Fort Stewart, Georgia was where I called home for about five years. Military "brats" sort of get use to moving around, making new friends, and learning new schools. Claire was from California, and she was getting herself into trouble, so her parents sent her to live with her aunt and uncle in Fort Stewart thinking she would do better in another environment. Reluctantly, we became friends. You see, Claire was gorgeous. Light-skinned, long hair, and the kind of gorgeous that made guys stop and drool. Why was she wanting to be MY friend? For a girl like me, who had low self-esteem and a poor self-image, Claire was the enemy. Clearly, I hated being seen with her because she got all the attention. I think she was oblivious to just how much attention she received.
I battled low self esteem all through high school. I never thought I measured up, and found myself being jealous of other girls. It was a vicious cycle that I couldn't get out of.
After Christmas break, her aunt and uncle sent her back to California. I guess she was too much for everybody. By this time, we had developed a strong friendship and I was sad to see her go. I wanted to be happy and relieved, but I couldn't get there! My mother told me that people come into your life for a reason, and sometimes just for a season. Could Claire have provided me with a life lesson? Surely, the California girl that I felt inferior to couldn't possibly have something to teach me.
When we returned from Christmas break, people were asking me about Claire. "Where's your buddy?" I told them that she went back to California to stay. No one seemed to care, or broken up about it. One particular guy said, "She was cool to look at, but not much else." Wow. I realized within that comment, that I was just a normal girl. I was smart, articulate, creative, and was actually kinda cute! I had issues with esteem and image, but so did every other girl at school!
The remainder of my senior year, I smiled, I laughed, I went to prom, and I liked myself. All of this because of the girl from California.
Love yourself. Because if you don't, no one else will.