A Reflection of My Younger Self

Written by Felipe Beltran


If I am being completely honest, when I was a fifteen-year-old boy, I was lost. I was a boy lost in a complex society. I was a good kid with good moral values, but at the same time, I was a kid who was lost and confused within the society I was part of. I was a lost kid among other kids who were also lost but hid it well. They hid their fears, lostness, and pain in numerous ways. Ways as parting, drug intake, alcohol abuse, sexual activities, angry outbursts, violent acts, and rebellious acts. In between all the drugs, the alcohol, the parties, the sex, the outburst, the questionable actions, there was a boy, a boy who was confused, who was scared, who was lost. A boy who grew up religious and reading the Bible. A boy who got rejected by girls and friends because of his religious beliefs and because he followed the commandments he read in the Bible. There was a boy who had gotten hurt and rejected for doing what he believed was right. While other guys would act like jerks, do drugs, drink like alcoholics, treated girls terribly, yet they were loved and accepted by society. I did not understand why or how. All this made me very confused, very lost, very alone. The best way to describe myself when I was a fifteen-year-old boy is a good kid with good morals and values, but at the same time, I was a confused and lost kid within a convoluted society.

My features that I would have emphasized from my past self are the following: hard-working, determined, driven, passionate, sore loser, funny, and depressed. The reason I choose those features to emphasize my past self is because throughout my teen years, I played a lot of

sports. I played soccer and did track. I was always extremely hard working on the field and on the track. I would train every day after school with either friends or by myself, in the rain, snow, hot, or chilly weather. I worked ridiculously hard when it came to sports because I wanted to be the best I could be, I wanted to be the best on the field, and I wanted to be the fastest on the track. My hard work in sports made me incredibly determined and driven to be the best I could be. This bled into my young adulthood where I try to be the best at whatever I do. I try to be the best student, and the best writer, I lift weights and do it on a consistent basis so I can be stronger than I was yesterday or the day before that. I have always wanted to be the best I could be and that made me into an extremely hard-working, determined, and driven young man. It all started when I was a fifteen-year-old boy. I have always been passionate; I believe it comes from my father and from my culture. My father is a deeply passionate soccer fan and loves the teams he supports, that bled into me as a young boy. It is also within my blood as my culture is an extremely passionate set of people. Colombians are extremely passionate about our culture and everything we do. In my case my passion came in the form of sports. I was passionate about the sports I played. My passion also made me into a sore loser, I hate losing. When I was fifteen years old, one of my closest friends committed suicide. His death was the cause of a deep depression for me. After he died, part of felt like it died too. I was never the same after his death, even to this day. But when I was fifteen, his death changed me. I was the quiet kid who walked alone in the hallways with his hoodie up and headphones in while listening to sad music. I was the quiet kid in the back of the room with his head down. I lost interest in everything, the only thing that helped was being able to make people laugh. It is ironic that during my darkest time, I became funny. I made everyone laugh and it brought me some joy that even in the dark I could make people smile and laugh.

The things that were important to me back then were the friendships I had at the time, my relationship with my parents, the relationship I had with my baby brother, and I think the most important thing to me back in the day was my soccer career. The relationships I have with the people I deeply care about have always been important to me. It has always been important to me to maintain the relationships I have with people I love, even at an immature age. I think it is because of the death of friend that I try my hardest to maintain relationships with people close to me.

Now as a twenty-year-old college student, looking back at fifteen-year-old me, I would tell myself the following: Everything only lasts for a moment. The challenging times that you are going through are truly short moments in time. I know that this time you are going through is hard, confusing, and difficult, but it will not last forever. It lasts momentarily. Just remember these hard times will shape you into the person you are destined to become. Felipe, I know you are going through a difficult time, and I am sorry about that. I know what you are going through. You are confused, lost, hurt, and in pain. Take it for me, those confusing, painful, and lost feelings send you down a road who makes you who we are. If anyone is destined for greatness, it is you. You owe the world your gifts. You must figure out how to use them. Always stay true to yourself. Do not allow yourself to change for others’ liking. Do not become something you are not because of someone else. Be real to yourself. Always be real, always be you! You are my hero.