I used to listen to all the opinions of everyone I crossed path with.
Of who I was, what I should be and even what I should wear.
I tried and tried to fit into all the boxes that I thought would make everyone love me.
And the funny thing is, it was never enough.
Every change I made just led to more criticisms and even more opinions.
Trying to fit in was a never ending battle for approval and acceptance that I realized I could never win.
They liked to point out my flaws and imperfections, highlighting all the things I didn’t like about myself.
At the end of the day, I was unhappy, unfulfilled and a nervous wreck.
I realized that I’d either spend my life trying to please people that I didn’t really care about in ways that didn’t matter for reasons that didn’t make sense.
My people, the ones who always love me, they accepted me just the way I was, scars, scratches and flaws.
They showed me that chasing the attention and affection of the people that pretended to be perfect would be a never ending struggle, that I would never be happy trying to be something I wasn’t to please the world that would never accept me as I was.
So, I did what was long overdue…I stopped living for everyone else and starting living for myself.
I had spent so many years defining myself by others that I really didn’t know who I was anymore.
It’s a hard place to start on a journey without a map, but I knew that’s what needed to happen if I were ever to be truly happy.
I had to find my joy and learn to love myself for all the things the world said I should be ashamed of.
The scars, the bumps and bruises that made me who I am weren’t the bad parts of me, just the opposite.
I’m finally understanding those are the things about me that I should celebrate, for they have made me unique in a way that an easy life never would have.
So, yes, I’ve made mistakes, fallen down and chose to love the wrong people, but I’m growing, I’m learning and I’m finally starting to love all of myself, even the parts that everyone said I should hide.
I’m flawsome, I’m a mess sometimes and I may not know where I’ll be tomorrow, and I’m okay with that.
I’m living my life the way I choose in the manner I want, and no one can take that away from me.
It won’t be easy or painless, but I’m owning my experiences and finally listening to my heart.
It took me a long time, but I know now what I never did before.
I’m worth it, I’m awesome and I deserve to be happy…in just the way I want.