Every time you refuse to accept disrespect, you are changing the narrative.
Every time you set a boundary, you are changing the narrative.
Every time you remove someone for their shitty behaviour, you are changing the narrative.
Not everything has to be a long drawn out conclusion. Not everyone deserves to know how much they hurt you. Sometimes it’s okay to simply drift away and remove their access and begin the healing process, quietly.
“We accept the love we think we deserve”
Except now I know I deserve better. And because I know better, I will do better.
Take chances, make mistakes, get messy – but NEVER accept an apology from someone you know isn’t sorry.
“Let’s be honest here – I am not the girl men fall in love with. I am the girl that men want to fuck. I am a conquest. A prize. A show.
I could count on five hundred fingers the number of people that have professed, “I like you. You’re different. You’re an interesting girl.” Apparently I’m not fascinating enough for you to want to hold for more than a one-night stand.
Once as I finished swimming a sea of blankets and got left stranded on the shore, I asked myself:
What’s wrong with me? What am I doing? Am I not good enough for anybody?
And right before I could drown again, the sun woke up and said,
“You are. You are enough. Forget the men whose hands have groped your hips in search for answers to questions you’ve never even heard of. Do not settle for people who do not appreciate you, who do not know how lucky they are. Remember it is a privilege to be loved by you, or even just to be touched by you, and the warmth of another body does not define your worth.
These men – they think that they can own you with their drunken stares and roughened arms, but I have circled the earth a thousand times to feed the light flowing inside your skin. Do not waste it by illuminating those who can not even be bothered to learn your last name.” So that night when the moon tried once more to pin me down,
I told him: I am made of sunlight, crashing waves, and fireworks. You think you can tame me and cool my flesh? I am the girl who plays with matches, and trust me I play it well. Lord knows I’ve walked through villages leaving a pile of destruction in my wake.
My heart is a bushfire and the next time you try to control me, darling, make no mistake – I will burst out and ravage you in flames. I’ll burn you to the ground. (This isn’t a test.)”
“And kid, you’ve got to love yourself. You’ve got wake up at four in the morning, brew black coffee, and stare at the birds drowning in the darkness of the dawn.
You’ve got to sit next to the man at the train station who’s reading your favorite book and start a conversation.
You’ve got to come home after a bad day and burn your skin from a shower. Then you’ve got to wash all your sheets until they smell of lemon detergent that you bought for four dollars at the local grocery store.
You’ve got to stop taking everything so goddam personally.
You are not the moon kissing the black sky. You’ve got to compliment someones crooked brows at an art fair and tell them that their eyes remind you of green swimming pools in mid July.
You’ve got to stop letting yourself get upset about things that won’t matter in two years.
Sleep in on Saturday mornings and wake yourself up early on Sunday.
You’ve got to stop worrying about what you’re going to tell her when she finds out. You’ve got to stop over thinking why he stopped caring about you over six months ago. You’ve got to stop asking everyone for their opinions. Fuck it. Love yourself, kiddo.
It doesn’t take a genius to know that the butterflies won’t last. That the romantic dates would be less fewer as life gets busy, that time would make each “I love you” sound so ordinary than what they used to be. Still, I hope that you find someone who will never get tired of watching sunsets with you. Someone who would always choose an ordinary day with you than an exciting first date with another.
I hope that you find someone who will never let you drift away farther than an arm’s length so that he can always grab your hand and pull you back when tears start to create a river that separates you.
There is no perfect, so I hope that when it’s time for you to entrust your heart to someone, it’s to a person whose love has no doubts because a heart that’s sure can see through your flaws, your imperfections, and love you all the same.
As you get older, you choose the people that you accept in your life. You do not want to waste your energy trying to connect with someone, and it will not prosper into a relationship that is worth keeping.
You can’t stop people from saying things about you. It is not your responsibility to change their minds. You only have to keep on doing what you do best. For as long as you are not hurting anyone, then there is no need to explain yourself.
You don’t need so many friends in your life. You only need a few but are genuine with you. You cut off people in your life who do not respect you.
You are a work in progress, so there is no need for you to be hard on yourself. You have to continue learning and embrace that you will never please everyone.
Kindness goes a long way. If you have nothing good to say, it is better to keep your opinions to yourself. Allow people to grow and learn from their past mistakes.
Those people who know you better will stay with you no matter what. These are people that you have to keep because they have the purest intentions for you.
Maturity is to prioritize your needs over anything. For as long it can serve its purpose, you don’t feel the need to buy a new one.
Embrace the fact that we outgrew people. Some of them do not stay because they have other priorities. You don’t stop them, you let them go.
You choose your battles because not everything is worth your time and energy. You would want to protect your peace of mind than engage in drama.
You choose your happiness more than anything. You don’t let people define your success. You make the most of every day because life is fleeting. You chase your dreams, not people anymore.” –neiljedcastro
Today I am choosing to spend my last day of 2020 alone. Alone with my thoughts and my reflections on this awful year. But it wasn’t all awful was it? No. So I’m also spending it being incredibly grateful.
I’m grateful for the lessons I learned and the often painful growth I experienced as I found my way back to myself. I can easily remember the countless nights I spent in tears. Tears for the planet, for humanity, for the fear of the future unknown and for the front line staff.
I grieved for everything that was taken away this year. I grieved for the weddings that had to be postponed, the babies born in lockdown, the isolation woes, the trips missed and all the lonely people. But I became thankful and my will to persevere became stronger than ever.
I slowed down. I read more books. I tried new recipes. I started new hobbies. I connected with my family. I told my friends and loved ones how much I truly appreciated them. I thanked them and continue to thank them for loving me, especially on the days I know how hard I was to love. For never abandoning me even when I pushed them away. I am so thankful for the humans in my corner, I would not have survived this wretched year without you.
So in 2021 I will continue to honour myself and the light within me, however dim it sometimes gets. I will not blame others for my errors, instead I will accept that I will make mistakes and not punish myself for them. I will not compare my journey to others. I will not feel left behind or shame that my path is different. I will continue to be grateful for the things that have sparked joy in my life and work on creating more of those moments. Because isn’t that what we all want? Little bursts of happiness to break up all the bullshit life throws at us.
I will continue to enjoy life and live every single day with gratitude. I will sing and dance and laugh and cry and be silly and continue to feel everything as deeply as I can. So thank you 2020, you turned out to be nothing of what I wanted but instead everything I didn’t know I needed.
Now, let me tell you why. This year I learned how to be alone. More than ever. More than I wanted to. I learned to depend on myself and open up when I needed help. I learned that sometimes those you think will be there for you aren’t, but others will surprise you. I learned friends truly are the family you choose. And I am beyond thankful to have such incredible humans in my life. Humans who never made me feel less than, humans who let me cry and be anxious and fret over the future for hours, only to turn around and say “I’ll be there for you, no matter what” I’m thankful to be reminded by these humans I love that I am also a very good friend, one who is also deserving of love, patience and compassion.
I’m thankful for the people who left my life, too. I needed to learn the harsh reality that not everyone has compassion or empathy. Sometimes when you think someone is a self serving narcissist, you’re right. Because they prey on people with compassion and they will always take advantage of your kindness while simultaneously making you out to be the “bad guy” Not everyone you lose is a loss. Sometimes they are the harsh lesson that you are forced to learn so that you can grow.
I’m thankful for therapy. I’m thankful for the advancements in mental health and the ability to talk openly about struggling. I’m thankful for having a family I can talk openly with, who supports me and encourages me while I ride the waves of my ups and downs. My growth this year has surprised me in the most fundamental way.
I have never felt for “me” in my entire life. I know who I am. I know what I want. I may not know where I’m going but I’m finding the bright in all of the unknown outcomes. I will not settle for a man, a career or a life that does not make me happy just to meet the milestones. I will live voraciously! And continue to read the books I love, travel to the places I want to see, save money and plan for a future despite not knowing what that future may look like.
At the end of the day, I just want to be proud of the person I have become.
I want to be proud of the way I loved. I want to be proud of the way I chose vulnerability and tenderness; how I never stopped choosing them no matter what my soul experienced. I want to be proud of the way I fought for others, of the way I dedicated myself to making them feel seen and understood; I want to be proud of the way I tried my best to speak beauty into the parts of them that no one else clapped for. At the end of the day, I want to be proud of the way I cared.
At the end of the day, I want to be proud of the way I fought to be here. I want to be proud of the way I worked through my dark, I want to be proud of the way I healed even when it hurt. I want to be proud of the way I tucked hope into myself for safekeeping, I want to be proud of the way I believed that there was more to experience at the hands of life, that the beauty I had yet to feel existed in this world. At the end of the day, I want to be proud of the way I survived.
At the end of the day, I want to be proud of the way I showed up. Of the way I existed here, of the way I dedicated myself to living the kind of life that allowed for happiness, and sadness, and growth to flow through me like rain. I want to be proud of the way I fell in love with a version of hope that I created from the deepest parts of my soul. I want to be proud of the fact that I never let my past convince me that I did not deserve the potential the future was holding for me. I want to be proud of the way I moved in the direction of love. At the end of the day, I want to be proud of the way I risked my soul, I want to be proud of the way I honored it.
At the end of the day — I want to leave this world with a heart that is worn-out and tender all over, a heart that aches from loving, and feeling, and caring in the best way possible. I want to leave this world knowing that I poured love into everything I did, that I crashed my soul into each day, that I tried for something while I was here. At the end of the day, I just want to be proud of the person I have become. I just want to be proud of the way I connected.