Sometimes I feel like I shouldn't waste other people's time with my feelings or opinions. Sometimes I think most people couldn't care less about what I have to say or think. This is entirely because of what my life has looked like for the last 29 years. I am told to follow directions, things are the way they are because that's the way things have been.. I'm told that my feelings are valid, but they don't really matter. I'm told to sit down and be quiet and let others stand up and be crazy and let them be the ones who are "seen".
You know what? No. I am worthy of being seen. I am worthy of being heard. And you know what? I think what I have to say should be heard. I think I should be given the time of day. I've been through the ringer, I've been deep in those valleys, I've been in those emotional trenches. I've been abused. I've been lied to. I've been taken advantage of. I've been beaten down. I've been all that encompasses not being enough.
However, "I've been" is now a past tense. "I am" - I get to choose that. I get to choose what comes after those words starting today. I get to choose to have it say "I am enough" or "I am worthy" or "I am all I choose to be". People say people can't change. I can most certainly tell you that this is a completely false statement and let me tell you why.
I was once a girl who never believed in herself - not even a little bit. I was a girl who sat in the girls locker room senior year of high school because my anxiety told me I had no friends. I am a girl who sought attention from boys because my pedophile stepdad taught me I am only my body. I am a child who navigated abuse alone and for a very long time because other humans had their own pains to work through. I am a girl that self medicated because I had no other tools to help me grieve and process the traumas that I was experiencing. I acted out in hopes that someone would see me and see that I needed guidance. I was a girl that never thought was worth anything actually good - I was a girl that others used and abused and took advantage of. I was the epitome of a broken human.
But then God..
But. Then. God. Those are the only words I can really use to show just how and why things changed. Sure, my husband helped me learn true love, but marriage is never perfect and neither is any man. Sure, my children helped me learn true love, but parenthood is never easy and never something I can be 100% proud and confident in at any given moment. Sure, my friends help reassure me and journaling helps me process internally, but nothing makes TRUE change like my God does.
Primarily starting at the age of 26, this is when I first began to take an interest in being a better person.. being someone I was proud to be. After so many years of hating myself, not seeing value in who I was as a human but having two children who were watching and learning from me, I knew I needed to make a change. It started with learning to forgive those that hurt me the most, and some of that took years to work through.. like over a decade. I had to forgive the man that abused me for so long and made me feel so terrible and who got to walk away free because he was a police officer and knew how to play the game.. I had to learn to forgive people who told me to not tell others about my abuse and to basically keep it to myself despite how badly I was hurting and needed connection.. I had to learn to forgive those that chose not to help me grieve, process or heal. I had to learn to forgive those that I loved so so much, but just did not love me the same way.
I had to learn to not be naive. I had to learn that not everyone needs to be in your life, nor do they deserve to. I had to learn to stand up for myself, to finally not let other people take advantage of me. "No, you're not going to treat me like garbage just because it makes you feel better and I'm too weak to make you stop." Gosh, for every person I've stood up to in the last few years who were used to me backing down, those faces were priceless.
I had to learn the difference between being kind and being taken advantage of. It's ok to say no. It's ok to not agree. It's ok to be busy. It's ok to want the same thing that someone else is asking of you. It's not up to you to do everything, nor to make everyone happy. This. Is. Impossible.
We can all do our best, be our best and there are still going to be people who hate the fact that your hair is pink. There will always been that one person who will take all of your confidence and happiness and be so excited to crumble it up into a huge mess and make you toss it out the window. BELIEVE ME, PEOPLE LIKE THIS EXIST. I HAVE EXPERIENCED THEM. They are not your people. I repeat, they are NOT your people and recognize that basically making these specific people unhappy, makes your life better. I'm just saying..
I'm going on some random rant, but all I really want to say is that we are all so alike and so equal and this world is so backwards. We all want to be successful and popular and cool, but looking at the world as it is right now, the only way to really actually be those things is to be yourself. No quotas to reach, no particular memes to share, no proper opinions to be made or certain hairstyle to have.. Just you. As you are. Believing in what you believe in proudly and following through with the life God has planned and intended for you.
You are all you choose to be. Let those choices be good ones. Be proud of who you are today, we aren't owed tomorrow. Be that light in somebody else's life that let's them recognize that they are worthy - just like you.