Dear 15-year-old Syafique,
Oh, this picture was taken by your homeroom teacher Mr Tenney for your yearbook. You were still fifteen, just months before turning sixteen.
I know why you did not want to give a big smile... You wanted to hide your crooked teeth. In fact, most of the pictures of you around this were like this. You also had this same hairstyle for years and years. You didn't like how you look but at the same time, you were also afraid to make some changes.
You were insecure. Very insecure. Having people tease you didn't help overcome that insecurity. Having people to look down on you made matters worse, too. I know you hated your classmates and although SOME tried to approach you, you were still playing the "Everyone hated me" game, that might not be the total truth. At least that is how I see it from this point. But you were still in the process of learning.
Though you felt spiritually stuck, unhappy and suffered low self-esteem, it was these experiences that taught you the most. It was part of your personal growth. You didn't know better. You didn't have the tool to overcome whatever you were going through but it was not the end. Life is a journey.
Would I want to change anything about this period? Absolutely not. Without the past, you won't be where you are now. Plus, whatever you've gone through makes you appreciate life more.
I am still proud of you,