I was the slow, fat kid who had to take the mandatory physical education class. Each day, I finished last in running and was picked last for the teams. No matter how hard I tried, I never seemed to get faster, stronger or more coordinated. I was thrown naked from the locker room on one occasion. On another, the others tried to put my head in a toilet until I yelled out for help (after that, I was teased endlessly about calling out). The PE coach didn't help matters by making fun of me as well.
No girl would date me. One even asked, "Who could ever love you?"
Each day, I'd go home, hating who I was and wondering why I had to be so different.
After I graduated high school, I had trouble getting my life in order until I took charge of my own life and happiness. I saw what my weaknesses were and worked to overcome them. I realized that nobody was obligated to make me happy and I'd have to take care of that myself. I learned to like myself and eventually love myself.
That turned things around.
I did a stint in the Air Force which got me into better physical condition than I'd ever been in my life because those around me encouraged me rather than deriding me.
I went to college and got a degree in physics.
I got married to a fantastic woman and had two great kids. Our house is filled with love and laughter.
What had once been obstacles became challenges and I managed to overcome all of them.
When I went to my 20th class reunion, I saw the people who had made my teen years so miserable. But I didn't feel anger. I felt pity. So many of them were working jobs that made them miserable and were married to people for whom they demonstrated no real love.
Instead of wondering why I was so different, I rejoiced knowing that I wasn't like any of them! Their lives would have drained the very soul out of me. My life has been full of adventure and joy. And it continues to be that way every day.
It might be tough for you now but if you follow your dreams and do what makes you happy, it will get better for you. It'll be hard work but if I can make it, so can you.
I believe in you.
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