The year 2016 will always represent a pivotal time for me. The end of my 20s.
It has been a year of immense struggle–of pain, fear, anxiety, and darkness.
And, it has been a year of immense growth–of insight, strength, and bravery.
The other day, I was getting ready in the bathroom, mind whirling around with too many thoughts, as usual. As I looked at my reflection, I froze. I had a realization.
I realized that, while my struggle has been very real and very difficult, I have been allowing it to define me. To define how I am doing and where I am at any given moment.
For years and years, I buried so much pain–so many secrets and so much of myself. This year, I have set a lot of it free. It has been real, raw, and very messy. I haven’t really liked it, or myself, as I have journeyed through it. After acknowledging that these things have happened, I have struggled with letting them go. I have focused on what was done to me–the injustice of it, the grief from it. I have focused on my anxiety, allowing it to rule my life. I have focused on the depression–resisting it, and sinking even deeper into its clenches.
I am still doing all of these things. Letting go is hard…and I am not completely sure how to begin. BUT, I do know that I am traveling in the right direction.
This week, I made a decision I never thought I would make. I decided that I would get a permanent reminder of what I have done in this year–2016. As a generally straight-laced, goody two shoes, the idea of a tattoo was never something I have considered…until my life got messy.
I needed to do this thing…this thing will remind me, every day, that I have the power to set myself free. It hurt. It was uncomfortable. But, the end result is beautiful. Just like this journey.
I define myself.
I can believe in myself.
I can put my self worth in my own wings–not any one else’s.
I am strong. I am brave.
I might not always believe it…or even believe it right now.