If you met me ten years ago, and then five years ago, and then today, you would have met three different women.
Ten years ago I was finding out just who ‘me’ was. And five years ago I thought I had it all figured out and then I found out I didn’t. I was given a whole new definition of life and had to figure that out.
And now, here I am. And I’m trying still to figure some shit out. Like as I get older I’m wrapping my head around some shit that I just shake my head at. . . Like for real, what was I thinking? And for real, how did I not realize my own worth, my own strength. . .
Let me tell you some things. Some things I wish I knew back then and some things that maybe you need to hear today.
You’re beautiful. First and fucking foremost, you are that and more. I think about ten year ago me, looking in the mirror and noticing all of the flaws and none of the amazing things and I wonder how I survived feeling so worthless. Don’t let anyone do that to you. Don’t let anyone convince you that you are anything less than amazing.
There is no one – not a fucking soul – who loves you and is okay with making you cry and causing you pain. Read that again. Realize that if they are causing you either physical or emotional pain, it doesn’t matter what they say or do, they don’t truly love you. If you have expressed your distress and they sweep it under the rug or otherwise dismiss it. . . I hate to break it to you, but that’s not love. It just isn’t.
If in “protecting” you they keep you from your family or friends, they’re not in any way, shape or form protecting you. That’s a form of manipulation and it is controlling and please get the fuck out before it gets worse.
If they tell you how to dress, if they try and tell you anything for that matter about your appearance. . . You’re too fat, you’re too skinny, don’t wear makeup, wear more makeup, wear less clothes, more clothes, etc. etc., do me a favor. Look in the mirror and decide how you want to dress. How you want your clothes, hair and makeup to look. . . Do you need to lose weight? Do you need to gain? These are all calls that you as a person need to make about your damn self. Are you comfortable in your skin? That’s all you need to worry about. Not what this person or that person thinks.
If you’re grieving, please grieve however you see fit. You do not need to grieve in a way that others see as acceptable. Scream, cry, throw shit. Sleep. Eat. Stare at a wall if that’s what makes it bearable. Do what you need to do to heal. And fuck what people think. You can be grieving a death, or the end of a relationship, getting fired from a job, losing a pet. . . Doesn’t matter. Grieving isn’t reserved just for the death of a loved one. There are a million things in this life that we can grieve the loss of. And it’s okay. Our minds find ways to cope, and you just go on and figure out how to do that. It’s okay to be sad. And take comfort in the fact that you had something or someone in your life that is worth grieving. For fucks sake I cried for half an hour when I realized that after my grandparents passing, their house was demolished. I drove by where their house used to sit, and went home and bawled my eyes out. This is life. I repeat – grieve how you need to grieve.
I wish I would have known to stand up for myself, and to love myself. To not let people walk all over me, bad mouth me without consequences. . . I’m worth more than people’s opinions, and how I feel matters.
I wish I would have known that making a mistake and fucking up isn’t the end of the world – it’s a lesson. You can’t grow without learning to own up to your fuck ups.
I wish someone would have told me to do more of what I love and stop worrying about what everyone else thought was cool. I’m happier following the beat of my own drum than the beat of someone else’s.
I wish I would have known to take more chances. There’s safety in staying stagnant, but there’s freedom in knowing answers to questions you’re afraid to ask, there’s opportunities that you’ll never get if you don’t take a leap. You may fall flat on your face. But what if you don’t?
I wish I would have known there’s freedom in letting go. That once you set the shit free that’s weighing you down, the higher you can fly.
I wish I would have known what the term ‘toxic’ meant when referring to a person. And that it’s okay to keep those toxic people at arm’s length, or remove them from your life all together.
Additionally, I wish I would have known you can throw someone a raft, but you can’t make them take hold of it. You can’t save people who aren’t willing to save themselves. And that’s okay. You cannot beat yourself up because of another person’s choices about their life.
I wish I would have known that the people who walk out of your life weren’t meant to be there anyway, and that their absence is making room for someone else’s presence. And I wish I would have known that their regection was no reflection on who I am as a person. They were meant to cross my path to teach me something, nothing more. Another lesson in letting go.
I wish I would have known so much, I would have been happier in life much sooner.
But in order to grow, I needed to learn these things on my own. No one can teach these things to you, it’s all a process. I sat alone many evenings, with my children sleeping in the next room, and wondered what the fuck was wrong with me. I wondered why people used me and left me, I wondered why my life was such a fucking disaster. . . It took a lot of thinking and a lot of soul searching for me to realize that in order for things to change, I needed to change – not who I was as a person, necessarily, but how I dealt with things and looked at things, and how I let others treat me. If I wasn’t being true to myself, how could I expect anyone else to be? I also needed to realize that how others treated me was a direct reflection on them, not necessarily on me. I have goals and dreams, and I go after them. That makes people uncomfortable. I’ve met a lot of people who weren’t where I was at – we were on different pages of our respective stories. Not to say that they were wrong or I was wrong, just that our mindsets were different. I had to grow up early, I had to be more responsible earlier in life. They had the freedom to be more carefree, and I was more deadset on attaining what I never had – I would rather smash my goals and then have fun when everything is straightened out.
Which brings us to the final thing I wish I would have known.
There’s no right or wrong way to do life. You follow your gut and do what you feel is best in any given situation. And for the love of God, don’t judge others for their choices. You aren’t them, and it isn’t your life to live. Worry about yours. Live your life the best way you know how.