I can name you the three exact instances in my life that changed me forever. I’m not talking about a boy breaking my heart or losing a friend or anything menial like that. I’m talking about the uncontrollable, the unexpected, the soul-crushing experiences that stayed with me all these years. Words that echo in my head to this day, never allowing me to forget the moment I changed.
The first one made me strong. The second one made me lose myself. And the third one made me unbreakably confident in who I am and all of my “flaws.”
I’ve grown up in a way I wouldn’t wish on anyone – my heart being in a constant state of shattered for most of my life.
I’ve been taken advantaged of and stripped of the things most important to me, which left me feeling disconnected from life and everything I thought I believed in. No one should grow up not knowing what it’s like to belong somewhere, to not have a safe haven or place to call home.
I hid away a part of me in fear of being stigmatized and degraded because all of a sudden, a part of me was not “okay” to society. I didn’t know if I was strong enough to defend myself against their jokes.
There were so many days where I couldn’t understand why life was just piling on hurt after hurt. It was quite literally breaking me and forcing me to change my mindset in order to direct me to a path I was completely blind to.
I never realized just how much a heart had to break in order for it to start healing.
But what happened next made it all worth it. The second I accepted that I was who I was and there were things about myself I could not change, I never felt more like myself. All of a sudden it was as if the fog had cleared and every beautifully hidden part of myself was free.
It feels like this invisible weight I didn’t even know was on me, finally lifted. It feels like you could quite literally float away on happiness. It feels like crying in the car and blasting music, but this time with a huge smile on my face. Not the usual crying in pain while my heart keeps breaking.
It doesn’t mean life is perfect. It doesn’t mean that my heart is done longing for the one it wants or I’ve found myself exactly where I want to be. It doesn’t mean I understand every roadblock I faced.
It just means I’ve fully accepted who I am and from this day forward, I will face every hurdle life throw at me knowing I’m capable of handling it. And I will fight anyone who tries to tell me otherwise.
No shame. No guilt. No regrets. I am 100% authentically me. My heart full of love and kindness just ready to be given out to those around me, but only the ones who are worth it.
I am no longer ashamed of the things about myself I cannot change. I am no longer awkward about the past that once haunted me and the unclear future. They have made me a bit smarter and wiser, and now I can use them as tools to help and educate others.
It was the longest journey I’ve ever traveled, but I came back to the person I lost between the battles and the person who I’m still becoming. I still have so much to learn. I still have a lot of growing to do. But for right now, I’m proud of the person I’ve grown into and I can’t wait to see all that I will overcome in the future.