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There are voices in all of our heads. Sometimes it’s our conscience speaking the voice of reason or morality. Sometimes it’s our stress, which runs through to-do lists almost faster than we can process them. But sometimes, it’s the voice of self-doubt: the voice of insecurity. It truly is a nasty voice, especially if it takes up permanent residence inside of your head; then you can’t turn off the relentless slew of “you’re not athletic enough” or “you’re not smart enough” or “you’re not pretty enough”.  But insecurity is never really about how “smart” or “pretty” or “athletic” you are. it’s about feeling as if you are not “enough”. And being “enough” is something we all struggle with sometimes. It is a struggle we do not endure alone. The proof is in the submissions we received from our readers, who bravely opened up about the darkest voices in their heads. Through their honesty, we see that we are not the only ones battling our insecurities, nor do we have to be. Enough is enough. You are already far more. Editor In Chiefs, Maddie Park & Adriana Getman Furthur Recources Monta Vista Student Advocate Richard Prinz is an available on-campus resource for students seeking guidance in any areas, extending to personal well-being, close relationships, and more. All conversations remain con den- tial unless doing such compromises safety. LGBTQ+ Hotline: (866)-488-7386

National Suicide Prevention: 1-800-273-8255 Eating Disorder Hotline: 1-800-931-2237

What are your insecurities? “Not to be a basic MVHS student, but the future and my grades. You don’t realize it until you hit junior year, but life hits you like a fu***** truck. You realize that college is right around the corner, and that if your grades are lower then an “A” by MVHS standards, your life is screwed over. Or least that’s what I think. You don’t have time to put up with people’s bullshit and drama, simply because you’re (or at least I am), nervous about what’s happening. And I don’t know if I’m the only one who does this, but do you ever lay awake at night, terrified out of your skull for things to come? I I’m just insecure I won’t make it past junior year, or the future for that matter. If I’m already overwhelmed by just AP classes and journalism, how am I supposed to make it into the real world? Me, a girl who seems confident, but in reality thinks of buying a one way ticket to Hawaii to escape?” “Physically, I’m just a big person - I’m very tall, I have big boobs, a big butt, big legs, big everything. Mentally, I’m insecure in what my capabilities are - I always undervalue what I can do.”

“I’m insecure about my friendships and how people perceive me. Not necessarily in a superficial manner either. I often find myself wandering around campus aimlessly as I fell unwelcome from different groups of “friends.” My biggest insecurity is finding out everyone hates me. I have nightmares and overthinking moments where I breakdown because I find that everyone does.” “Most of the kids I know have figured out I’m not a virgin and think I’m promiscuous but really I didn’t get a choice in losing my virginity. I’ve had sex since then but in my most recent ‘relationship’(if you could call it that lol) the thought of having sex freaked me the hell out because it brought back a lot of bad memories that I had repressed. The person I was seeing ended up ending it because he got impatient(to be fair I also suck at showing affection bc of past experiences so that could be it too) and since then my insecurities about my past sexuality have come out in full force, in addition to the fear that people I’m involved with will leave unless I put out.”

“I’m insecure mostly about my body figure and especially my chubby cheeks. I look at my thighs touching each other and always feel ashamed. I’m also insecure about my tanned skin and my acne, how short I am, the way my hair doesn’t fall right, and my eyebrows and my nonexistent jawline.”

“ I feel like if I opened up about how I truly feel about something, I may hurt someone, or worse, myself. I like to push these thoughts away, though they often come back to haunt me right before I go to sleep. I’ve even been hurt by one of my closest friends, the one who knows almost everything about me, and that just made my insecurity worse than it already was.”

I wish you trusted me enough to tell me exactly every little thing you thought, but even in relationships like ours you always have things to hide. Just like I can’t show you my scars or bitter writings or notes from that year, just like I hide this side of me from everyone else, you, too, have secrets you want, must keep from me. But you know, people in the movies always use that line - I can take it. Tell me honestly how you feel, about me, about everything. Tell me you’re sick of my constant messages, my boring writing, my narcissistic tendencies, my faux humility, my whiny words, my awful jokes, my useless advice, my inexperienced comments, my faceless communication, my selfish and vulgar and blunt and ugly and vain and superficial and unappealing and dry and paranoid and careless and flippant and jealous and pushy and miserable self. Tell me you hate me, and I’ll believe it, but tell me that I mean the world to you and I’ll doubt it forever. I wrote this to a friend of mine who lives far away, someone I believed myself to be close with but who I can’t help wondering if they even still appreciate anything I say. I like to say that I’m good at receiving criticism, I always would rather hear honesty, but I don’t want to hear anything negative. I’m hypocritical in the sense that I force so many unrealistic expectations on others when I don’t even reach them myself.

Where do your insecurities stem from? My insecurities stem from a cumulation of my parents and my experiences. Having been backstabbed by many, and on the unfulfilled end of promises, I often find myself being used by others when I simply trusted them to hold up their end. The innocence in my thoughts soon turned to insecurities about all relationships with everyone, regardless of their depth, and I found myself unable to trust anyone or even myself. In addition, my parents often drill the idea that noone likes or cares about me. A common heard thing is the, “I didn’t even want you anyways,” “You can have the kid if we divorce, I don’t want her anyways” or the “Hah, if I don’t like you, how can anyone possibly give a shit about you.” These things, repeated enough from the people who supposedly care about you the most, soon turned my insecurities into the monsters that they are now. “I developed an eating disorder my freshman year and all I thought about was how fat and disgusting I looked even at my lowest weight and bones were showing in pictures. So many people commented on my chubby cheeks and my mom would tell me how fat I look and how it’s embarrassing, that I should lose weight.”

“I tend to find happiness with what others say and think of me and that is very very bad. I find myself judging myself based on if others think I’m good enough. Body image issues come in when people have taunted at your size and as a tall girl 5’7 135 pounds, I know that I’m not overweight, but I keep reminding myself of what others have said.” Growing up, I wasn’t the coolest kid on the block. I had a few close friends, but a lot of people just saw me as that weird annoying girl who was not cool. At. All. I was scared to join groups or games during recess or lunch because I knew that they would only let me join because of obligation, not because they actually wanted me to be there. Writing this out now, I’m just realizing how much that impacted me. From then on I tried to be “cooler”, fitting in with the trends and showing the other people that I was “normal”. I started caring WAY too much about what others think about me, but I just never want to be that weird girl any more. Now I’m scared that I’ve lost myself in trying to be others.

“Growing up. The way that adults talk to young girls is always about looks first, and mental capabilities next. So it’s constantly engrained in my head that my looks matter more than what’s in my head, and getting over such an engrained concept is really hard.”

Have you ever overcome or embraced an insecurity? If so, how?

“I mean, I am VERY open about my “I don’t know how I will overcome my insecurities, and people know what I insecurity right now, but I do feel like I don’t like about myself. I feel no need have been able to overcome my insecuri- to hide my insecurities, because like ty of being more girly. I could never wear it or not, they are a part of who I am, my hair down, never wear girly clothand how I view myself. Hopefully ing-it was always sports clothing. Now I will continue to grow/change and that I tried that over summer around eventually shed some of the more people I didn’t know I felt more comfort- detrimental insecurities that I have at able with it and slowly started to accept the moment, but I do believe that new it. I felt like the people I knew I was reones will spring up in the future, and ally uncomfortable with being girly, but some are here to stay, for better or or now I feel find and more confident. That worse.” was a big step in my life as it changed me “My ex treated me like sh**, and as a person. But now I have yet to overcome my social anxiety around my peers laughed at me because I had a panic attack triggered by something he and others.” thought was stupid, and that pushed me past my breaking point and I “I like stopped caring that much about screamed at him, told him how much how other people think of me. This is because I made some really good friends his words had destroyed my self esteem, and dumped him. My friend’s who genuinely didn’t care too much about how I acted as long as I was funny, birthday party was that night, and we talked about it, and they told me I was and would show that they accepted me justified and it just kind of turned into for who I am. I’m glad i have such great a circle of positivity and that helped friends who helped me feel less lonely with my insecurity over my panic and act more weird.” attacks.”

“To me, I felt like even though my insecurities had hindered me, they also made me really mentally strong. It was all based on perspective and action. I could’ve just said that I suck at everything and just given up, but I looked at my insecurities as indicators of what I need to improve in. I worked super hard to become better at badminton so that I no longer would be uncomfortable playing higher level opponents. In order to counter that fear of have “friends” that don’t actually like me, I learned to be more open with my emotions because when I portray myself to the purest extent, it’s less difficult for people to trust me, which in turn helps lower their social barrier and let me get to know them better, developing trust.”

On Bridges and baking cookies By: Cheri Zhou

I like to believe that everyone has their own insecurities; whether it be about how they look, how they think, or even how they laugh. Something about the way that we are all raised, the society we live in, the people we are surrounded by, all causes us to feel bad about ourselves in some sort of way. We look at other people, gleaming, radiating in their own aura, and feel bad that we don’t have one our own. We idolize the ones who have what we don’t, and dream about the day that we might become like them. My own insecurities have fluctuated within my lifetime, but always have been about my social status, my reputation. An avid dreamer, I used to dream about what life would be like if I was rich, if I was powerful, if I was popular. If I was popular, I thought, I could hardly be able to walk down the street without the flood of paparazzi trying to take my picture. I would appear in tabloids, gossip that featured scandals with other celebrities. All this, plus more, would happen to me if I was popular. Unfortunately, I was not. I can’t say that I was one of the more popular kids in middle school, yet i strived to make friends with those who were. For them, I could do anything. I could drop $20 on a present. I could stay up all night baking cookies. In my mind, I thought that if I were to be assimilated into their group, I, too, could be beloved. In fact, I spent so much time invested in making myself a likeable person, I left my own friends in the dust. By trying so hard to make new connections with other people; people who wouldn’t even give me the time of day; I burned all my old bridges. I left all my friends who, for so long, had been kind and accepting and forgiving towards me, all because I was insecure about myself. Once I was able to let my insecurities go, the burden that had been weighing on my shoulders all these years had finally been lifted. I could do anything, go anywhere I wanted without having to worry about what other people thought of me. I started doing things for myself, rather than for other people. I made new friends for their personalities, rather than social status. I cut off ties with people who were using me for their own benefit. I had accepted that not everyone I met had to like me, and that’s okay. I became content with what I don’t have, and ultimately, thankful for what I do.