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Define Your Destiny  

By Maria Teresa Calva-Xolalpa, Grade 11
As some of you may know, my biggest struggle is caring. Caring is one of the qualities that people usually use to describe me. Don't get me wrong, caring is a nice quality to have. However, I have come to realize that I over-care. I over-care about people, what they think about me, what they say about me and how they see me, and all of these bring me down.

As a society, we all face negativity every day. People will always come at us with negative comments, mean criticism, unnecessary opinions or insults, and all of these hurtful words and actions make an impact on ourselves.

It is human nature to want to fight back and prove many of those people wrong. Sometimes we are successful and we are able to make them change their minds. However, there will always be a next person to fight. This is a challenge. We spend so much time explaining and proving ourselves over and over again that it gets exhausting. My grandma once said: “What you give time and energy to will define your existence.” If you are constantly defending and guarding yourself from people, your existence will be defined by these battles against people that aren’t capable of acceptance and accepting you. Instead, if you invest your energy and time into building another path, your existence will be better; the existence you want it to be.
 There will always be people who will misunderstand you and won't give you a chance. People who will judge you from a distance. Some people will hate you without even knowing you. Some others will get to know you and still won't like you. And what can we do? Stop wasting our time and energy on trying to change other people's opinions about you. And redirect it towards something that would be worth it for you: your passion, your dream, or your hobby for instance. “There are millions of people in the world, and not everyone will be compatible with you.” Another quote by my grandma. So don't worry about what people say about you.
The best advice I can give you all from what I've learned is to be yourself. Be the best possible version of yourself, but for you, not others. If other people do not like you, then don't waste your energy on them because you do not need to change yourself to make them happy. There will be people who do like you and will be there for you. Devote your time and energy into creating the destiny that you want; who you want to be. I want to leave you \ with one last quote from my grandma: “Make your life a safe space of happiness, where only people ‘compatible’ with you are allowed.”