I would like to leave you all behind. I’ve become brittle and almost broken, hearing you say that I don’t deserve the future I’ve craved since I was a hopeful teen. You will no longer tell me that my body and my mind are undesirable. You will not be a weight on my ankle that I have to drag through another year. I will claw and struggle away from you if I have to, even if it means my nails will be whittled down until my fingertips bleed. I am determined in my journey to walk away from you all, and never look over my shoulder to see if you’re still in view.
I will break free from the notion that I am not talented enough, not hard-working enough, and not passionate enough to succeed. No more will I look at a blank word document and feel that the ideas I want to put on it are a waste of space. No more will I sit across the table from someone and tell them I’m a writer, feeling that they think I’m wasting time on a broken path. No more will the tone in my voice suggest that I don’t take myself seriously enough to get more stories published. No more will I project the idea that I don’t believe in myself enough to make the ideas in my head a reality.
I will abandon the concept I’ve generated in my own mind that I am boring, always second best (or less), and uninspired. I will throw it into a wood chipper and watch it get shredded to pieces as it has tried to do to me for far too long. I will not watch someone paint a canvas with bold saturation and tell myself that my soft pastels aren’t good enough. I will not watch someone capture the attention of an entire room with the radiance of their personality, and tell myself that I have none in comparison. I will not let the mere existence of someone’s talents, charm, and importance tell me that I am absent of those qualities. I will not convince myself that I lack the brightness needed to be seen.
I will leave behind the idea that love is only something I can brush my fingers against, and never hold in the palm of my hand. I will watch it shrink as I walk away from it, and I will wave goodbye, even though it doesn’t deserve a proper send-off. I will not look at men I perceive as more attractive, more intelligent, and more interesting than myself, and think “I am not worthy of his attention.” I will not use the disdain of my own body, the thoughts that tell me that I lack importance, and the butterflies in my stomach stop me from releasing my feelings into the space between us. I want to be excited by the idea of love again; I will not let myself shrink to the point where I am convinced that my feelings hold no weight.
I will break these chains of self-loathing, doubt, and worthlessness, and I will learn to love myself. I will learn to love my sensitive heart, and I will learn to embrace the courage that’s buried under avalanches of insecurity. I will learn that my talents are strong, and they deserve the opportunity to succeed. I will learn that my aura is bright and colorful, and it has the power to attract good energy into my life. I will look at my body with love, rather than disgust. I will observe my barely toned arms, the slight definition in my legs, and the patch of fat that’s still on my stomach, and know that I have worked too hard on it to say that it is anything but beautiful.
I will learn to know that all of me matters. I will learn to feel that all of me matters.
I will allow myself to struggle with all of these concepts. I will allow myself to find a way to hold them close, and give them space to grow. Trying to soak them in might feel like taking a bite out of a raw onion, but I will learn the techniques that will make them softer and sweeter. Even if it takes me until the 31st of many Decembers to come, I will learn to let these concepts be unwavering in both body and mind. Even I never succeed in grasping the feeling, I will learn to always repeat the mantra, “I am capable, I am important, and I am radiant.”
I will be stronger than they ever were, and I will not need to look back to know that they are rotting right where I left them.