Recently I have been getting the same question a lot and it is “What is your platform?” Well, to answer that question, my platform is self confidence and self esteem in youth. This is a topic that really hits home for me, and it is something that I have very strong feelings about. I have decided to tell you the story behind how and why I chose my platform.
As a person who has had and still has a lack of self confidence and some self esteem issues,I know how tough it can be, it is not all that meets the eye. What we show people is totally different from who we really are. From the outside some of us may be quiet, shy, a bit anti-social to a whole range of different things, but on the inside it is not who we are at all. I was always known as the shy, quiet one because that is all I would show anyone but, if you were to ask my parents about what I was like at home you would never say that it was the same person. I was always scared of what people might think or what they might say…I hid who I really was behind a mask of being shy and quiet in hopes that people would accept me.
A couple of years ago when I was 13 it got really bad and I really got down on myself. I didn’t want to hang out with my friends because I kept telling myself that I was annoying them and they probably were not going to like me anymore. I didn’t want to go to any social events because of what people might think or say. I told myself that I wasn’t good enough for my family, that I needed to do better to make them proud but then my thoughts would turn into “you can’t make them proud because you can’t do anything right”. It got to the point where my mom and I had talked about taking me to see a therapist.
It was honestly horrible not having the confidence to wear what you want, to say what you want, and to do what you want and to have low self esteem and think that your not good enough for anyone. Not to mention the endless breakdowns and random crying, to the excuses made up that you couldn’t hangout because you were busy but, in reality you just thought they hated you and that you annoyed them, and having to leave class to go to the washroom and stop yourself from crying all because you wanted to answer the question the teacher asked but you were afraid to get it wrong so you kept your mouth shut.
That is the side of me that I never let any one see, the one that I tried to hide so bad. A lack of self confidence and self esteem is something I would never wish upon anyone. It’s not only until recently that I have tried to break away from all of it and it feels amazing to have gained some self confidence and self esteem back, although I’m not fully where I want to be yet, I’ve never been happier with myself.
I truly believe that had I not joined youth darts in our local community that I would not be where I am today. Having to stand on my own two feet and know that I may be judged by my peers had to be one of the hardest things that I have ever done…It was definitely one of the best things I have ever done! It would be wrong if I failed to acknowledge some people who have helped me get to this point…my parents without a doubt, my brother Mason, my entire family and last but not least my youth dart coaches Morley and Edna Greening. Without these two individuals and the commitment they have made to the youth in our community I feel that I may still be stuck where I was 2 years ago.
If I can help youth who are going through what I have gone through and get them to a place where they are happy with themselves, that would be a greatest accomplishment that I could ever achieve.
So until my next blog post! Keep your head up and believe in yourself!
-Rhianna, Miss Teenage Bay St.George