I was doing some reflecting tonight as I often do. I was thinking back to when I was in college again. A time in my life, as I’ve mentioned before, that was particularly rough in a lot of ways. I remember when I went to the Counseling Services office for the first time. My self worth was at an all time low for a good portion of college. I blame some of it on the environment of the school itself but most of it was just where I was at in my life with my personal growth. I felt ugly. I felt stupid. I felt unwanted. Even the smallest thing like a guy not liking me would send me spiraling into a depression. I can’t even put into words how self conscious and insecure I was on a daily basis. I finally hit a point where I realized I needed help and one of the great things about my university was they offered free counseling. A few hours after filling out the application, one of their counselors called me to set up my first appointment. I saw him the rest of my time in college and I still carry his advice with me today. He was such a great help and made me realize so many things about myself and most importantly, he helped me start to see my value as a human being.
Fast forward to today and I was thinking about where I’m at now. My life weighed heavy under the burden of what other people thought about me for a long time. I craved nothing more than acceptance and being liked by other people, even if it meant being silent and hiding my true self. I tried to use clothes and makeup to be accepted. I thought if people saw me as pretty then maybe they would like me. Though I most certainly still have those moments, I can say right now with 100% conviction that I do not give a crap what people think of me anymore. And I’m not ashamed of who I am in the slightest. I’m a bleeding heart liberal. I don’t subscribe to just one religion or believe that any one religion is the “right” religion. I’m pro-gay marriage and an ally to the LGBTQ community. I’m a feminist. I get angry when I drive sometimes. I swear like a sailor outside of work. I like to watch bad reality TV to unwind. I love Taylor Swift. Sometimes a perfect night for me is just staying in watching Netflix. I don’t make an effort to talk to or be friends with people I don’t want to or people I think are negative/energy sucking. I cry a lot but can also be really good at not talking about how I feel. I can have unreasonably high expectations for other people sometimes. I have a pimp limp. I like to take ridiculous selfies of myself sometimes (like the above) even when I think selfies are self-indulgent. I think it’s our responsibility as human beings to help other people in whatever way we can. I am imperfect. I am a work in progress.
Just a year ago I wouldn’t have been able to say all of those things out loud, even to some people I know…forget posting it on a public forum where I know I’m opening myself to the possibility of mean comments or judgement from people who disagree with anything I’ve just said. But you know what? I don’t care. I don’t need to be friends with everyone. I don’t need everyone to like me. If you want to gossip and judge and talk crap about me, go right ahead. I can go forward in life knowing I’m happy with who I am. I’m always working on being a better me but I make no apologies for my convictions, my beliefs, or who I am. I make no apologies for being imperfect and screwing up sometimes. And if anyone has a problem with any of it…there’s the door. They’re welcome to walk right through it.
I’ve come a long way from the girl sitting in the counselor’s office filling out the application form and even though going through all that was just a part of my journey, it feels damn good to be where I am…