Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
As I walked through the hallways, everyone was pointing and laughing at me. While most would expect sympathy or even a simple "get well soon!" for breaking their hand after running into a glass door, upon returning to school, people greeted me by mimicking my misfortune. As I passed people through the hallways, they would all pretend to run into a wall. I didn't know what to do, or who to talk to. My counselors were no help, all they did was give me the most generic advice when it comes to bullying: "Just walk away".
I still remember my temper tantrums like they were yesterday. From a very young age, I have had anger management issues. This came from bullying and stress from school. After moving into middle school, it only intensified. Verbal abuse became more personal, and being beaten up became a regular occurrence. I took all the advice I was given, and accumulated it into one general tip: "Don't react and don't let it get to you". I chose to live life by this tip. I felt myself becoming more calm at school. I wasn't letting all the abuse get to me. While I was doing the first part of that tip well, the second part was not working for me. I thought I was ignoring it, but I was really redirecting my anger else where. Little did I realize, I was taking my anger out on my parents and brother. We would frequently argue about pointless things, like me coming home late, or my mom not washing my clothes frequently enough. I didn't know how to cope with my anger, and it seemed like I couldn't find a way to release it, up until second quarter of my sophomore year.
One day at school, my friends were talking about "working out". I sat there perplexed listening to them being so enthusiastic about it. How could putting physical stress on your body be appealing? After raving about it for a good fifteen minutes, they convinced me to try it. I still vividly remember my first time working out in a gym. It was 7:50 AM, and going to the gym first thing in the morning was not giving a good first impression of working out. I felt intimidated, as I saw people lifting more than my body weight. My friends guided me to the gym bench, and I laid my back down onto its hard, black surface. They handed me a pair of 20 pound dumbbells, and guided me through my first exercise, a dumbbell chest press. They supported my shoulders, as I pushed the dumbbells upwards away from my chest. As I worked through my first set, I felt something I've never felt before. I felt like even though I was putting my body through physical stress, emotional stress was leaving my body. My mind wasn't focused on that test I bombed or the argument I had with my parents the night before, it was focused on pushing up the dumbbells. I continued with working out for a few more weeks, and for first time in a while, I felt like I could have a conversation with my family without getting angry. We still have arguments from time to time, but no where near as intense as before. Working out not only made me stronger emotionally, it made me feel more confident, because I could feel my physical strength progressing. When people think about a place where they feel content, most go to their home or bedroom, somewhere where they spend most of their time. I feel most content in a gym. People might stereotype gyms as a place full of people grunting and yelling while lifting heavy weights. This is not how I look at a gym. I look at it as a place where I can feel calm, and relieve all of my problems and stress.