I am so excited.
Today is my day. The cool crisp smell of autumn fills my nostrils as I crack open my bedroom window.
It’s Halloween, and nothing can possibly go wrong.
For 24 hours, I will marvel at all the colorful costumes, stomp on crunchy autumn leaves and receive all sorts of treats.
Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday and nothing can ruin this day.
Or so I thought.
The year is 2015 and I have my Donald Trump costume laid out on my bed. I try on my itchy, blonde wig in the mirror and repeat the word “Huge” in my best attempt at a Trump impression.
It’s nearing 3:30 p.m. and my friends still haven’t texted me our plans yet. “Not to worry,” I tell myself. “They’re probably just getting ready.”
Another hour goes by and I’m now in full costume. I check my iPod, only to see that I still haven’t received a text from my friends.
At this point I think, “You know what, I’ll just text them first. They must be having trouble with their costumes or something.”
But, deep down, I know full well this isn’t the case.
That’s because this isn’t the first time they have excluded me. After all, the “popular” kid in the group doesn’t like me; he’s always made it his mission to make me feel inferior.
It’s now 5:30 p.m. and I still haven’t gotten a response to my text. The sun’s starting to set and Halloween is pretty much halfway through. My heart has sunken into my chest. I’m finally coming to the realization of what’s happening here.
“I don’t want to believe it,” I tell myself. “I don’t want to accept it. It’s not true. It can’t be true. On my favorite holiday? They wouldn’t do this to me, not on Halloween.”
7:30 p.m. rolls around and I’m sitting on my bed, in full costume, with my head in my hands. I’m distraught.
I walk downstairs, where my mom’s having a snack. She turns around, looks at me and, without saying a word, knows what has occurred.
“You going trick or treating Dyl?” she asks.
My eyes start to well up with tears and my voice starts to shake. “M-my friends haven’t gotten b-back to me yet but I think I’m leaving s-soon,” I say.
My mom gets up out of her seat, walks over to me and gives me the tightest, most sincere hug.
At this point, I’m drenched in my own tears. I sob and sob and sob.
“Dyl, you need to be with people who want to be with you,” she says.
It resonated so much that I needed to say it again.
“You need to be with people who want to be with you.”
There’s so many layers to that statement. You need to surround yourself with people who enjoy your company; people who enjoy you.
It’s important to realize your own self-worth. Never let others — let alone your “friends” — treat you like an accessory or a punching bag.
You are valuable, and if you are friends with people who don’t see that value or recognize you for it, then those people aren’t your friends.
They’re sugar-coated enemies.
Remember, It’s OK to cycle through friends and friend groups; it’s necessary if you want to find the right circle.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve known people or the history you have with them. If your relationships are toxic, and you know deep down they will never change, you owe it to yourself to leave.
It’s important to be unapologetically yourself, no matter the circumstance. There are people out there who will like you, for you; if someone doesn’t like you, they’re not worth your time!
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