Choose to be a better person than you were

Natalee Reynolds, Columnist

Although it takes a lot of guts for me to be vulnerable enough to openly and publicly admit this, I used to be a really, really crappy person. And I’m still working on not being a crappy person to this day.

I lost most of the few friends I had in high school and the reasoning behind that was always the same: ‘you’re just rude all the time, you only care about yourself, you’re always negative and bitter about things, and it’s exhausting being your friend.’

Around the third time this happened, I finally started to listen to what they were telling me and began to be more honest with myself; I was treating my friends like garbage, and I was always looking at the negative side of things.

And the excuse for that? A rather lame one. For some twisted reason, I used to think that it was cool not to give a shit. It was cool to be pessimistic and negative.

And then I realized that it’s not—there is nothing cool about being a lousy person. Let me say that again for the people in the back: there is nothing cool about being a lousy person.

So from that point on, I made it a priority to be open and honest with myself so I could be a better person for myself and for the relationships I had with the people around me.

I worked on myself every day and would consciously make the effort to look on the bright side of things, to not complain so much and to stop being so ‘blunt,’ as I used to call it (now I realize I was just being plain rude).

By doing this, things started to change. I started attracting more friends (what they say is true, people—your vibe really does attract your tribe), and I started to truly like myself as a person, which was huge for me because never before had I really liked the person I was until I decided to change.

Even today, I still struggle some days (as everyone does) with being pessimistic, but each day, each hour and even each second, I am given the opportunity to be a better person than I was the previous day, or hour or second.

I take these opportunities and consciously try to be a better, brighter, lighter person, and I’ve come a long way from high school, when this all started. I’m still on the path to loving myself, but I can definitely say that I really like who I am now.

I guess the whole point of this was just to use myself as an example for someone out there who needs it; if you’re following a consistent pattern of losing friends/being told you’re rude/negative/etc, then there’s something going on.

Even if you don’t want to hear it, listen, and be honest with yourself. Being a crappy person is exhausting and draining, and all you have to do to change, that is, simply choosing to be a better person than you were last year or last week or even in the last hour.

But the choice is yours.

Natalee Reynolds is a sophomore English major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].