chapter nine

Hey, you.

Yes, you.

You’re important.

You are strong.

Do you believe me?

I’ve always been the complacent type. I may have had my own specific opinions, but never voiced them because I cared rather about what others thought. Because I would rather the other person have their way if they felt so passionate about their opinion.

You know where that’s gotten me?

A lot of really, miserable situations.

I’m not saying to be a boisterous, stubborn, opinionated drag that always has to have their way. Please don’t!

But there is so much merit to speaking your mind when something matters to you.

That sounds so simple, right?

I used to casually brush troubles off. Eh, it’ll all be okay. Things will work themselves out.

But wishing and hoping only gets you so far. Sometimes you need to act. Sometimes you have to muster all the confidence you can and go for it, even if you’re completely terrified to do so.

It’s not always easy, being strong and confident. I envy the people that have it so easily, born with some innate self-assurance and charisma.

I carry constant reminders with me always and they help to convince myself that I’m alright. The tattoo on my wrist, for example. Philippians 4:13.

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

For that is something, I greatly lack. Strength. The ability and willingness to stand up for myself and to always do the right thing.

And man, that’s totally a major bummer.

And really what does integrity measure up to at the end of the day?! What’s right for you? What’s right for others based off their opinions? There’s not always a standard of what you should or should not allow.

I surely don’t know it. There have been many times I’ve been stepped on because I wanted to “do the right thing” even if it wasn’t necessarily good for me. So what is the right thing and how can you make sure to take care of yourself in the process while staying selfless and moral to the issue?

I think ultimately it’s about staying true to yourself and your opinions, something I had a hard time recognizing until recently.

But that’s why I’m so thankful for this blog and for all of you! This year I finally feel like I’ve found my voice! I was so fortunate to be a part of projects over the last year like #DearMe and #SeeTheRealMe. It really reinstated my own priorities and perspective. I shed characteristics that weren’t me and strengthened my opinions on what I wanted to be and who mattered. It made me delve in to myself, something I’m not too fond of doing because I’m not always proud of my actions.

I’m not perfect. I don’t necessarily want to be, but even if I did it is obviously impossible. But I have an issue with disappointment, and I am ashamed of all the times I couldn’t get it together for whatever reason and let myself and others down. Peculiarly and annoyingly enough, I feel like this fear always causes me to let people down even more! It gives me so many inhibitions.

Sometimes I completely put the stakes too high and think I’d let people down by even the silliest things.

I am most nervous on stage in front of family and friends, especially when they’re completely in eyesight. I want to do well. I want to make them proud. I know they’re not critiquing me as harshly as I imagine, but I want to kill it for them!

So I almost psyche myself out in a way. Why would I be so afraid of the people I know will lift me up and praise me for a successful night, even if I totally flopped and was horrible? Why be nervous for the reactions of the people that love and support me most?

It’s okay to feel that way. It’s okay to always want to make the people around you happy and feeling important. It’s probably because you love and care about them so much that you always want to present yourself and themselves with your best foot forward.

But when a real crisis hits and you’re at a loss, know you are strong.

No matter what you are going through, even on your darkest day, know that you are loved.

Know that you matter. You individually.

All your flaws. All your beautiful characteristics.

You are not too much this or not enough that. You don’t have to perfectly fit in to a label or category and no one does. There’s no way people can completely fit in to a category because all their characteristics perfectly align. So, don’t label yourself if you don’t want to. You don’t need one. You just need to be beautiful little you.

I’ve been thinking about my #DearMe video as well as all of yours. Some of my stories you have shared with me. My friend is hosting a campaign about suicide prevention and it really got me thinking. It made me so sad. So sad that somehow people can be so hateful to each other to make someone feel like they shouldn’t exist.

That situations can be spun so out of control to bring someone down so much.

I told my younger self in #DearMe not to be afraid. That the fear that makes me hesitant will block me from what I want and need in life.

Sometimes I am still afraid.

But I know now. I know.

The people and feelings that try to drag you down, that try to mold you into what they want you to be arewrong.

Don’t let them control you. Don’t let them take advantage of you.

No one can tell you what you can or cannot do or what their preconceived notions think you should or shouldn’t be. They can’t box you into what they want to define you as.

Because you are way more than that, way too complex.

They just may not see it, and maybe you don’t either right now.

But your potential and worth is greater than what you believe. Than what’s been ingrained in to your mind.

Don’t be afraid to sparkle. To have your own voice.

Forget the labels.

All you can be is uniquely you.

What’s more special than that?

I love you. You matter.



P.S. Announcing a different kind of contest giveaway in my email tomorrow so make sure you subscribe! Gonna be challenging your creativity… 



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