Who will write your life story?
I think back a few years ago to the kid in the mirror. The 14 year old with long, unruly hair, a few blemishes and low confidence. He wore the same outfit to practically every social event–an Oklahoma Sooners football jacket, a red t-shirt, and black jeans that were too big.
This was his awkward stage. He didn’t have lots of friends and never talked to girls. He was homeschooled with a tinge of social anxiety.
Little did he know, this year was going to be a life changer…
My name is John Haskins, and this is my life story.
In September of 2014, I laid eyes on the girl who’d turn out to be my first one sided love. I didn’t say a word to her, just glanced here and there out of the corner of my eye hoping she wouldn’t notice. Next time I saw her was November 3rd, followed by the pleasant surprise of seeing her again the next day at a musical workshop I didn’t want to do.
All of a sudden anxiety melted away and I was all about this unexciting musical. Skip ahead to my birthday on January, 2015…rehearsals for this musical started, but I still hadn’t talked to her.
I started to lift weights—which was really just water gallons filled with water—in hopes that she’d notice me. Come January 22nd, I had my first conversation with her and my first taste of cloud 9.
I told Mom about her, and the biggest thing she did was encourage me to pray for my future wife. This would soon become one of the most life challenging searches I’d ever make. That’s when I found GoodGuySwag.
Skip ahead to the end of the year, my first article would be published on this very site. 7 Key Characteristics of a Solid Young Man made its way around the internet, racking more shares than I ever anticipated.
Over the course of the next year, everything I learned from my follow authors, parents, and GoodGuySwag was reflected in my writings, and obviously in my attempts to win this girl’s heart.
By 2015, I realized how much my life story had already changed. Only remnants of my fourteen year old self remained. I waved goodbye halfway through the year, got a haircut, and bought a vinyl weight set so I could transform to my new physical self.
I made some great friends; people that have helped to shape my life.
2016 was one of the greatest years of my life. Everything took great formation, and my old self was gone. I became stronger. Weight lifting became a passion and something that will shape my entire life.
Those weights have taught me discipline, a hard work ethic, and conveyed the hard reality that pain is good. Not only did weights give me strength, they gave me my brother by iron.
I had high standards from myself and my parents. I thought things would turn out for the better regarding the same love interest I endured for nearly two years, but unfortunately she broke my heart on December 9th, telling me she knew there was no hope of me winning her love over.
I was crippled, confused, hurt, angry, frustrated, and somehow still hopeful I’d get to be with her. It was a mess. I was a mess, and for a few months, that’s how I lived. My writing lost meaning. The pain I endured through the mess wasn’t enough, and neither were weights.
I was in a bad place.
But like all pits of despair, I managed to climb out, and got back on my feet. I owe it to the Godly role models in my life, like Dad and Mom, and my amazing friends who encouraged me to push harder than I ever have before.
I wrote my article 3 Things One Sided Love about my journey in finding my manhood. She helped change my life for the better. The whole thing brought me closer to God, closer to my friends, and closer to my parents.
Who knew love would evict such change in my life—such change in myself?
Now that kid in the mirror is 17 with a shorter hairstyle than before, partial beard and great self esteem. Not too mention…twenty-five more pounds of muscle mass! I no longer wear that jacket (honestly I think it’s just lost), or those jeans.
I have many great friends, and yes, I talk to girls all the time now (but my heart is only set on one at a time). My social anxiety is practically non existent, rarely ever showing its ugly face. And my confidence is through the roof. Heck, I even build robots on my community FTC team, the Zip Tie Fighters, team number 5202.
That girl is just another face in the crowd. But, even though she’s gone, I thank her for the change she brought in to my life. I am who I am because of her. I am who I am because of everyone else.
My life story isn’t over.
I have a job. I workout as much as I can. I habitually write poems and an original fiction novel, along with my articles. I spend all the time I can with my family and friends, and I’m trying to win another girl’s heart.
I’m 17 years old. I still have my entire life ahead of me. I’ll have many amazing stories to tell my kids and grandkids.
But until a new chapter is added, I’ll keep working on myself. My life story is my own. I’m only where I’m at because I willed it, and God allowed it to happen. He’s held me back for my own good, and I thank Him endlessly for the life He’s given me.
Three years. Three years was all I needed. Three years matured me like never before, refined my heart, and gave me wisdom I can’t credit to myself—that’s God given. Three years revealed the loves of my life. Three years revealed the love in my life, and taught me what it means to love someone.
Where will I be in the years to come? Only God knows, and time will soon tell. But if they’ll be anything like these past three years, I can’t wait to meet who I become.