My Teenage Life Story: How I Went from Awkward to Confident in 3 Years

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.

teenage life story

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.

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7 Responses to My Teenage Life Story: How I Went from Awkward to Confident in 3 Years

  1. Brad August 22, 2017 at 5:34 pm #

    Hi John. Good on you for sharing your story. Sorry to hear things didn’t work out with the girl, but it sounds like you developed some excellent character traits through the process and are now on a very good path.

    All the best!

    • John Haskins August 23, 2017 at 1:24 am #

      Thank you so much, Brad! It was quite the journey, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

      God bless you!


  2. Jeremy August 28, 2017 at 11:32 pm #

    Hi John! I really enjoyed your top-notch article today. It’s nice to see you recognize that we can decide and make a move, and God allows as He wills. Sometimes, it’s easy for men to get in a mindset that one and only one path is correct, when, perhaps for a particular set of choices, there is not necessarily a right or wrong one, but rather a choice of paths, each bearing it’s own treasures and trials. Good job in taking steps to promote the changes you’re making. I was particularly impressed with the part about the young lady. I’m convinced that such pain of the heart is some of the worst that we as men will face, and it’s brutal. Fortunately, it’s also usually rare, and with it comes a ton of experience points when we overcome. In looking back in my life, though I could not see it at the time, God truly knew what He was doing, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Way to take a step and be candid about your experiences. May it be a light for others who read it. Keep the faith, both iron and fire!


    • John Haskins September 3, 2017 at 12:40 am #

      Thank you for such encouraging words, Jeremy! And I absolutely agree! Especially regarding the pain from the heart ache. It was brutal, but necessary in the refinery process in my life. Now, I know what love means, and in correlation with that, I realize, to a slight extent, at Christ’s love for us.

      I’m glad you’re able to see God’s awesome work in your life, even if it took a few years. He knows what he’s doing, and amen for that!

      God bless my friend, and keep pressing on.


  3. Melanie Bangalulu March 26, 2018 at 1:25 am #

    I am touch of your amazing article… I understand your hard ship and the things you’ve gone through.. and yes your right god does know what he is doing in our life. like it said in the good book [bible] god has plans for each and every one of us. just keep believing in your self and have courage, that every thing will change…
    thanks for sharing this wonder for story of your life.

    • John Haskins March 26, 2018 at 3:54 pm #

      Thank you for your kind words!! It was an honor sharing my story, and I’m glad you were able to take something from it.

      God bless, my friend, and press on.



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