It’s always been said that if anything that’s not growing will eventually die. Once upon a time dying seemed like the worse thing that could possibly ever happen to me. Your life ends and all the things you hoped to accomplish in between the dash dies right along with you. That’s the scariest shit I ever imagined. Yet, it was a reality I saw lived amongst the living. Slumped shoulders, heavy bags underneath each eye, liquid poison to numb the sorrow, and minimal paycheck to keep the lights on. After a while, I soon realized maybe death brought peace and the death that I once feared so deeply was actually amongst the living.
Not to long ago, I used to be just a girl with big bright eyes, a toothy grin, and dark brown extensions that kissed my shoulder. I saw life through a colorful lense and life would work out just way I imagined or saw on television. I was the girl whom carried books by various authors in her backpack next to a bag of flamin hot cheetos. As two dollars in change hid in between the nooks and crannies of my used pocketbook. The quiet wallflower that barely waved or smiled in passing. I would stare shyly at boys and wonder self consciously to myself, “Does he like me?” I never talked much. Too caught up inside my own thoughts to filter them through my lips. I didn’t fit in much with the other girls. I wasn’t enough for each category. Not smart enough to sit with the advanced students. Not promiscuous enough to share my dirty laundry. Not lazy enough to adjust to the lazy kids passe lifestyle. I stood out like a sore thumb. I was strange inside my head. Often wondering where do I belong.
I used to wonder why me. Why can’t all the boys like me? Why can’t all the girls include me into their inside jokes and weekend gatherings? So desperately a part of me wanted to fit in and adjust to my reality. I became a people pleaser to a certain extent. Despite my efforts, I was unsuccessful at every turn.
I now realize that the girl I used to know just needed confirmation from within that she was more than enough. Her smile needed to reflect the beauty on the inside. The curves of my hips defined my femininity. My laughter could heal a broken heart. My intelligence deserved to be included into a conversation. Although I may not have been accepted into cliques and organization, the uniqueness inside of me was made to stand out. The girl I used to know used to be soft spoken, mild mannered, and vulnerable to other people trials and tribulations. I used to allow others to treat me the way that they wanted and with my permission. That was okay. It was okay to not remember my birthday or ask me out. Disregard my feelings or disrespect me in private. As long I held a title or perceived position in your circle of life things were okay.
It took a while for me to unlearn the negative associations had with seeking validation from others. The girl I used to know has grown up into a beautiful young vibrant woman. It took some healing and some hard truths that I had to come clean about. No one has the power over your life to make you feel small. You take back that power by defeating every negative energy thrown at you with positive thoughts. No one is me. I am beautiful, smart, funny, creative, and deserving of the same energy I put out into the world. My gifts deserved to be shared with the world.My best advice that I would give my younger self is to not give people so much power and control over who you are and your purpose in this world. You are you and that is enough. Grow within yourself and give yourself the best chance to reach your fullest between. That dash is your opportunity to give this life your best shot by thriving within each second and moment. You never know who needs you to keep going. Do yourself a favor and grow where you are planted and blossom in the sunlight.