It’s easy to look back at the things that you miss and tell yourself that it wasn’t all that bad. To lie to yourself about how good people were to you, or how happy you felt. But you need to remember that nostalgia paints everything with a golden brush. You walked away not because you were overreacting, but because it was your best option. Don’t romanticize your history to the point of forgetting its repercussions. Remember that the future will be kinder, and that you need to move forward in order to reach it.
The truth is that you’re never going to be ready, but you have to jump anyways. Whether this mentality applies to interpersonal relationships, or your career, or trying a new hobby, there isn’t a ‘right’ time to act. These aren’t always going to be the safest of jumps, and you aren’t always going to soar, but that’s what your support system is for (and yes, you do have one). Putting your life on hold isn’t going to make it any easier to manage. Trust in your ability to pick yourself up again if, and when, you fall down.
You don’t have to constantly hide behind the persona you’ve created for yourself. We all construct an image of ourselves for the world to see and sometimes it ends up being one that we’d like to embody, or one that we feel we have to. But the thing to remember about an image is that you can’t wrap your arms around it; it’s too delicate to know anything sturdy. There are so many people that are a part of your life, knocking at your door, and it’s about time that you let them in. I know it’s scary, but I promise that it gets easier and easier to open up without a mask on.
Love affects you so deeply that it’s a miracle you ever get out of your comfort zone. Who told you that in order to survive in this world you had to be tough? And why, after everything you’ve seen, do you still kinda believe them? There’s nothing wrong or shameful about knowing your emotions intimately, and there’s nothing wrong or shameful about admitting to your pain. It’s one thing to put on a brave face, but another to practice it in the mirror before leaving the house. Learn the difference between weakness and honesty. They don’t need to be the same thing.
You’ve prepared yourself for every worst case scenario imaginable, drawing up elaborate emergency plans and exit routes as if they were lifelines. Unfortunately, there’s no amount of research that can completely capture the way a disaster unfolds in real life. This isn’t to say that your efforts have been for nothing, but there are so many better things you could be using your time for… so many hours that you could be filling with self love and art and other people. You don’t have to always be on guard, waiting for upcoming problems.
It must be exhausting, to continuously try again and again for people that don’t bother to ask how you’re feeling. You’ve gone to bed sick to your stomach due to how much you care, and that isn’t how it’s supposed to be. Stop making excuses for the people in your life that don’t deserve it. There’s only so much of yourself that you can give to others before you become burned out, and just because it’s always been this way that doesn’t make it right. Stand up a little taller. Say “no” a little louder.
Letting people treat you poorly isn’t going to make you feel more loved, it’s just going to make those empty rooms feel even emptier. It’s become too easy for you to hide your insecurities when it comes to your relationships, because you’ve always known how to be the life of the party. You crack jokes and smile and make everyone believe that things are okay even when they aren’t, which is both a talent and a curse. But you deserve so much better than the things that you’re willing to let slide. Raise the bar.
You aren’t destined for a loveless existence because of the things from your past that continue to follow you. Nobody is defined solely by the unkind things that they’ve had to take part in, or the choices they made before they’d learned better. Stop seeing yourself as a list of mistakes, and instead as a collage of days and circumstances that you’ve survived. The only way to become better is to move forward, and it’s nearly impossible to do so when you’re still carrying so much hurt. Put it down.
The past, for you, is kind of like a domesticated household pet. You feed it, and take it for walks, and let it fall asleep next to you even if the cost of that involves being woken up in the middle of the night to it kicking you in the shin. It’s easy to see that there’s something wrong with this situation, when you’re waking up with bruises due to events that happened years ago. There are certain aspects of your life that should be left to their own devices; you’re not obligated to take care of everything that’s ever touched you. Let some of that burden slip away before you drown in it.
There is a time for being strong and there is a time for being soft, but you need to remember that a lot of the time you can be both things at once. Don’t sacrifice your ability to be warm and open because you believe that your bravery is dependent upon being the opposite. It isn’t. You contain multitudes, and those multitudes allow you to be more than one thing at a time. Allow every side of yourself to exist comfortably at its brightest hue. You don’t have to fit into any roles, or positions, or titles, if you don’t want to. You just have to be you.
Self-growth is hard to see on a day to day basis, and because of that it becomes easy to ignore or discredit the progress you’ve made. Consider the person you are now, and the person you were a year ago: they aren’t the same, are they? It’s no small feat to keep moving forward after so many people and circumstances have tried to push you in the wrong direction. Spend some quality time with yourself. In case anybody hasn’t said it lately, I am so proud of you for making it to 2018. You’re going to create such beautiful things in your time here.
Sooner or later the emotions and opinions that you keep shoving to the back of your throat are going to spill out of your mouth — it’s an inevitability, at this point. Before that happens, though, please remember that you have the power to use your voice. You have the power to build magnificent things. And you have the power to choose yourself over those that only wish to hold you down or silence you. Stop taking everything at surface level, and stop listening to the naysayers when they tell you that your dreams are impossible. They aren’t. You can tell them so.