The other day I received a not-so-nice, unneeded reminder of just how much my life has changed over the past ~10 months. The months September-February can probably (absolutely) be considered the worst months of my life. I did not feel smart. Successful. Beautiful. Free. I was not able to be myself. I lost touch with everything I lived for, the passion I have for the world around me, the love I have for it. I didn’t smile. I hardly laughed. I hardly spent time with my friends. I hardly was able to do things that I enjoyed. I was not receiving the love or support that I needed. I wasn’t able to love or support myself. I was not able to give myself the time that I needed for myself. Time to rest. Time to write. To read. To do yoga. To explore who I am. To appreciate the person that I am. I held on to the things that I thought were good for me, or should I say, the things that I thought would be good for me in the long run. I was in a horrible, destructive space. One that took me way to long to get out of. One that took me too long to realize what I was really surrounded by and why. One that I really struggle to look back on and find any positivity or peace, especially after this reminder.
Hate is a word that I believe carries way more power than realized. It’s a toxic word. It’s powerful beyond belief. Hate is a word that I seldom use, and cringe when I hear it used by others. But I believe that during those months, every moment of everyday was consumed by something I hated. And if I didn’t hate it to begin with, in the end I did. And I’m not saying that there are people that I hated, necessarily. But more, that I hated that all of the good things in my life, in myself, were suppressed. I was made to feel ashamed of the things I love most about myself, I was made to be defensive about them. I was made to feel ashamed of my past, of things I no longer have control over. Of things I maybe never did have control over. I was made to neglect my dedication to my spiritual growth. My dedication to discovering and being the best, most true, and more pure version of myself. I was put in this box that was sealed with limitations and insecurities, none of which were mine.
The reminder I received earlier this week brought so many emotions to the surface for me. Emotions connected to so many memories. Emotions that made my stomach turn. Emotions that briefly made me feel back in that box. Emotions of hate that I hate so much. Emotions that are so foreign to me now. Emotions that have no place within my soul. No place within the life that I am creating for myself.
Emotions that made me so unbelievably grateful for where I am today.
My life has been so good recently. There are so many great people in my life. My last semester went really well, and I was very successful in it. I proved to myself that I am smart. I am capable. I’m working one job that I love so much, with co-workers that I love so much. I’m content in my humble little home, a home that is now filled with only positive energy and positive people. I am only doing the things that I feel serve me. (“Let go of that which does not serve you.”) At least once a week I just sit and think about the things I have been up to lately, and I just laugh. I am able to take the time to do the things I love. The things that make me a better person. I am learning how to not let myself be disappointed by others. Better yet, I am learning how to take each experience with each person in my life and appreciate it, learn from it, turn it into something positive. Something worth taking with me going forward. I’ve been able to be shamelessly, happily, willingly let myself get lost in the openness that alcohol allows to wash over my body, mind, spirit. I have been able to feel beautiful. I have been able to enjoy myself. I am meeting new people every week. Not only that, but I have developed such incredible relationships with the people I already have in my life. People whom I truly love so much. I have been able to get enough sleep, and enough rest to keep me happy and healthy. But I’ve also been able to stay up all night making memories I’ll never forget (remember?). I have been able to read. Able to get completely lost in literature that makes my heart so full, inspires me so much, and encourages my love for the world around me, and my eagerness to explore it all. I have been able to feel free. To smile, to dance, to do yoga daily, to sing. I have been able to wake up everyday with something to look forward to, and nothing to regret. I have been able to love myself fully.
Every moment, of everyday, is filled with the things I love.
At the very least, there are some really important things that I can take from all of those horrible months and the reminder earlier this week: I will never allow myself to be in a position like that again. I will not allow myself to be in a position where I am not allowed to be myself. Where I do not feel beautiful. Where I do not feel appreciated. I will never allow anyone to take away the things I love about myself. The things that make me, me. I will never let anyone (try to) make me feel ashamed about my past, my experiences, and the things that have made me who I am today – good or bad. I will never allow myself to be that unhappy. Ever. Again.