I know it’s been quite some time since I’ve written anything here. To say that life has been busy and time just seems to slip away from me would be an absolute understatement, but it would also be the absolute truth.
I came across a quote the other day that stated “this past year has been a year of intense growth,” and it resonated with me deeply because I’ve spent the past year really getting to know myself and figuring out who I am as an individual and what I want out of life. It also got me thinking about my life and where I was a year ago, five years ago, even ten years ago, and where I’m at in my life now. I’ve realized that I’ve come quite a long way. I’ve overcome so many things, and accomplished so much more than I ever thought I was capable of doing. I’m on an amazing path to accomplishing even greater things, and I am just so incredibly proud of myself. Words can’t even describe how amazing it feels.
I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on the person that I used to be, and sometimes, I wonder how I ever let myself become that person. That person who is now so much a stranger. I had reached such a low point in my life that I absolutely hated the person staring back at me in the mirror. That person was an incredibly broken girl who spent the majority of her life being angry at people and situations she couldn’t control. That person spent years sacrificing her own happiness for the sake of pleasing other people. That person let society and other people define who she was. That person constantly told herself that she was never good enough and could never truly amount to anything. That person was so incredibly full of self-loathing and self-hatred that there were times when she would wonder if anyone would ever really miss her if she were gone.
That person let the world change her smile, when she should’ve been allowing her smile to change the world.
But that person doesn’t exist anymore. That person is simply just a ghost of who I used to be. A ghost of everything that I really wasn’t. That broken girl is simply a distant memory that has been forgotten.
I’ve heard it said that maturity doesn’t come with age, it comes with experience, and I am a firm believer in that. Going through hurtful experiences at a young age taught me quickly just how hard and ruthless life can be. However, I wouldn’t take those hurtful lessons back for anything, even if my life depended on it. I always tell myself that God never gives me anything more than I can handle, but looking back on my twenty-five years of life, I’m pretty sure there were quite a few times where I felt He might’ve trusted me just a little too much. I mean, if we’re being real honest here, I wasn’t even supposed to make it out alive in this world in the first place. But, for whatever reason, I fought through and survived, and I feel like I’ve been fighting to survive ever since.
But, isn’t that how life works? We go through hell and back, just to figure out who we’re meant to be. We all fight to survive. To live a life that we can be proud of. Yet, we never really stop and take a moment to reflect upon exactly how far we’ve come. We don’t take time to reflect on our own strengths and dismiss the opinions of others. We’d rather focus on things we’ve lost or focus on arguing against each other or hating each other. We live in a world where society tells us how they think we should live our lives and what we should believe. And if your beliefs are different than someone else’s, then all hell breaks loose. As a result, we’re all losing sight of ourselves. In some instances, people are losing their lives. When did it ever become okay for someone else to dictate how you live your life? And why do we allow everyone else to define us? Why is there so much hatred in this world, and when will it ever end? I keep seeking to understand it all, and I truly believe that it all stems from something much greater, deep within our own individual souls.
In light of recent events, I encourage all of you to do some serious soul-searching. If you have any present anger, let it go. Cry and take full advantage of any tears of sadness you may have. Embrace happiness and acceptance. Hold your loved ones a little tighter, and make sure to let them know just how much they mean to you and how much you love them. Stand up for what you believe in. Understand that not everyone will view the world the way that you do. Pray for those who need our prayers. If you don’t pray or aren’t spiritual, then send some positive vibes to anyone who may need them. Just try your very best to be a light of goodness in a world full of darkness.
But, most importantly…
Never lose sight of who you’re meant to be. Never let the world change your smile.