It took me 17 years to wear clothes that I liked.
It took me 17 years to say yes when someone offered to do something.
It took me 17 years to participate in class.
It took me 17 years and I still fight everyday.
My entire life, I was concerned that if I wore something I enjoyed people would laugh at me.
Call me names and make a mockery of who I wanted to be.
I thought it would be better to wear clothes I could hide in so I could laugh with them.
Today I can proudly wear my floral print sweaters and not give a single damn.
My entire life, I said no to anyone who ever wanted to hang out.
I felt it was better to deny them than have them see who I was behind the textbooks.
I feared my friends realizing who I was and wanting to leave me.
Today I can finally say yes sometimes and now I know my friends actually like me.
My entire life, I hid in the back of class.
Always knowing the answer but never raising my hand.
I would fear not only being wrong, but being the nerd in class.
Today I can take the risk of people hearing my voice.
My entire life, I debated with social anxiety.
Even now I ponder with myself over every syllable that strikes my vocal chords.
Hopefully one day I'll be able to comfortably breathe around people.
It may have taken me 17 years, but at least I can sometimes say that I just don't give a damn.