You’re going to be okay.
Breathe and remember that you’ve been in this place before.
You’ve been this uncomfortable and anxious and scared, and you’ve survived.
Breathe and know that you can survive this too. These feelings can’t break you.
They’re painful and debilitating, but you can sit with them and eventually, they will pass. Maybe not immediately, but sometime soon, they are going to fade and when they do, you’ll look back at this moment and laugh for having doubted your resilience.
I know it feels unbearable right now, but keep breathing, again and again.
This will pass.
I promise it will pass.
Today was different. Today felt different. Maybe it was because today was one of my dear friends birthday. Or maybe because I binge watched a really good series. I don’t know. But it felt good. I don’t know how to explain “it”.
So instead, I’ll explain how I feels. It’s how breathing fresh air after sitting in a smokey room for too long feels. Having such moments of clarity feels good. Especially when I’m always surrounded by noise, rush and poisoned thoughts. Thoughts that I can’t escape from. What if I’m not good enough? What if they don’t like me? What if I mess up? What if?
So, today I focused only on the positives.
- I didn’t fall off the bed while waking up.
- My phone didn’t fall from my hand all day.
- I didn’t smoke today
- I petted a cute little dog.
- I didn’t cancel any plans.
- I didn’t judge myself when I stood in front of the mirror.
- I made everyone in the room laugh with my awkwardness.
- I spent time with an elderly lady.
These may seem frivolous. Or maybe downright hilarious. But when you’re always looking at things negatively, this is something you learn to appreciate.
This feeling that I’ve got? I don’t want it to go. Ever.
When I was a child, I used to try to keep a journal. I would see all these movies and TV shows (read: Lol and The vampire diaries) where the actors used to fill in their journal everyday and I think to myself ‘I want that’. I want to be able to express myself this freely.
You see, being a introvert meant keeping most of my thoughts to myself and listening to other people more than talking to them. And honestly, after a while, I started hating it. I hated the fact that people thought I didn’t have an opinion, that they didn’t care about my feelings, that they hurt me as if I didn’t matter. And I hated myself for not speaking up. I needed an outlet. And so I started writing. But no, I didn’t make a fancy journal like I wanted to. I wrote my feelings on pieces of papers and hid them. I didn’t want my family to see them. They wouldn’t understand. I didn’t want myself to reread them. It would make me feel pathetic. So I hid them all and never saw them again.
Until recently, when I was cleaning my cupboard. I reread them all. I didn’t feel pathetic like I thought I would. I felt proud. I felt happy. I felt strong. I felt lots of things. But not pathetic. I laughed when I read what I had written. Why? Because I grew up to be way differently then I wrote I would, I have better friends, I don’t hate those people anymore and most importantly, I am happy. I am happy with my introverted self and my friends understand me, I have learnt to stand up for myself and for what I believe in and I don’t care about what other people say anymore.
Time and circumstances change you. If you hate yourself, your job, your teachers, your situations or anything else; it’s okay. It gonna pass eventually. You can’t and you won’t hate it forever. Your circumstances make you stronger and time heals you. But it’s like a journey. A journey that is full of potholes and blocked roads. But honestly, it’s a journey you have to be willing to take. You cannot just expect time to heal you. You have to facilitate it to heal you by taking the first step. YOU have to start this journey. YOU have to decide the route. YOU have to select your companions. YOU have to carry your luggage.
YOUR journey is all about YOU.
So, make sure you give it your all. You deserve it and you are worth it.
You label me. Why? What goes on in your mind before you do? Do you just look at me from top to bottom and label me accordingly? Or do you label me according to my personality? And again, why?
I wear specs? I must be a nerd. I always cover myself up? I must be a prude. I keep my hair short? I must be a lesbian. I like converse? I must be a tomboy. I am fat? I must not be knowing when to stop eating.
These lables are about my appearance. And oh, how did I forget the lables you put because of my behaviour!?
I talk too less? I don’t have a opinion of my own. I hang out with boys? I am a slut. I don’t date? I am unsure about my sexuality. I drink and smoke? I’m asking for attention. I laugh too much? I’m an airhead. I feel too much? I have a heavy baggage.
Why? Why can’t I wear specs because it’s hereditary? Why can’t I cover myself up because I like it that way? Why can’t I keep my hair short because long hair is a hassle for me? Why can’t I like converse because it’s comfortable? Why can’t I be fat because it’s in my genes?
Why can’t talking less mean that I’m an introvert? Why can’t I hang out with boys because it’s less drama? Why can’t I be dateless because I haven’t found the right one? Why can’t I drink and smoke because I want to? Why can’t I laugh if it makes me happy? Why can’t I be emotional if that’s what I want?
Why? Why do you have to label me for everything that I do or say. I am free to choose what I wear, where I go, what I do, who I date, what I like and who I hang out with, without having you judge me and label me.
So don’t. Just leave me alone. Don’t label me. I am not just what you label me as. I am much more than that. I am strongly opinionated, free spirited with a kind heart and a beautiful soul. I’m a wonderful person and if someone doesn’t understand this, it’s their problem. You are not an example for me to follow. You are a completely different person than me. I have my own individual personality. I don’t have to love what you love and you don’t have to label me for not being more like you. I am my own person and I refuse to adhere to your rules and standards as to how I should behave.
A labelled teenager.
Here’s what freedom means to me. It means trying out new things, drinking, smoking, being weird, doping, roaming around at midnight, traveling with my friends, breaking a few rules, experiencing new things and just being my crazy self before I kick the bucket.
But it also means not being questioned, criticized and judged for everything I do. It means not having people give me filthy looks and sneering at me for enjoying my life, trying to make me change and giving me ultimatums if I don’t. Yes, some of the things I do might offend you. But isn’t that what life is about? Isn’t it about making memories, going places, seeing new things, having experiences and living instead of just existing? Yes, I might make mistakes and things may go wrong. But these decisions that I make are what define me. These decisions are what make me unique. These decisions are what shape my future. And I decide to be free. So stop trying to change my definition of freedom to accommodate with your definition of it.