Since I am rapidly approaching the age of 24, I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting on how I ended up the way I am. Well, if I’m being honest, I’ve pretty much always spent a majority of time reflecting on life in general, so being 24 won’t really change anything. But lately those reflections are stemming a lot less from insecurity, and a lot more from strength.
What do I mean when I say strength? To me, strength is working towards something for YOURSELF, and not just doing it for attention. It’s living your life through all the hardships and struggle, and still having integrity and being kind to others. And most importantly, it’s not the absence of fear, but learning to face your fears head on.
So many people think they are stronger than others because they don’t go after the things that they want, and achieve the bare minimum. They are happy settling with a mediocre job, and a mediocre relationship. They think if they can fake the strength, and keep up the appearances, that they are coming out on top.
Well those people can have their social media posts, their borderline insanity, and start digging their early graves.
I can remember all the empty times in my life when my image was the most important thing in the world. I wanted everyone to like me, but I wasn’t very well liked. I was so afraid of being myself that I created a mask to hide my weakness.
People wonder now, where did that girl find strength? Where did she find motivation? What do I have in my life that makes me so positive and optimistic? How did I go from a shy, insecure, zero-fucks-given girl, to someone who is a go-getter, hard-worker, and not afraid to be herself?
Well, I might not have much to show for it, but I will always be proud of myself for facing my fears and getting out of the rut I was once in. When I look at myself in the mirror, I can see every little struggle that brought me to that moment, and smile.
I remember how I got into relationships, when I was afraid to get my heart broken.
I remember how I went on a job interview that I was afraid I wouldn’t get.
I remember when I started putting my writing out there, when I was afraid no one else would understand it.
I remember when I chose not to pursue the dream that everyone else wanted, but I didn’t want for myself.
The cowards who appear to be ahead of me might be wondering, what do I have to show for it? Where’s my money, or my name in lights? Where’s my house, my husband, or my Mercedes Benz?
My response is always the same. “It’s all coming. But it won’t get here until I’m ready for it and have the strength to appreciate it.”
If I was given the things that I wanted and didn’t learn to work for them, or cry over them, or be scared that I could lose them, I wouldn’t be grateful that they happened. People can make their judgments on where I stand now, but it’s not going to stop me from keeping on.
It’s like Tim Tebow said when he decided he wanted to play baseball.
“ONE OF THE BIGGEST REASONS PEOPLE DON’T DO THINGS IS BECAUSE OF CRITICISM.”
Well if there is anything that my 24 years of life have taught me, it’s not to be afraid of criticism. Don’t be afraid of confrontation. Don’t be afraid to do something wrong. Don’t give up when you make a mistake.
I’m never going to claim to have it all together. I’m never going to “flex” or make anyone feel bad for not being where I am, because we are all going to end up in the same place. I’m not trying to brag or boast, or pretend that I’m never afraid of anything. I am probably the biggest scaredy cat there ever was, but I won’t run away or cower in fear.
I want people who are in a hard place to know that we are all on the same playing field. We are all Tim Tebows and Kim Kardashians and Colin Kaepernicks. We are all humans prone to fear, criticism, and insecurity. We can all make something of ourselves or not.
The choice is ours if we want to live life running away from the things that scare us most, but that sounds like a sure fire way to live a life filled with regret.