The other day I was on Instagram and a picture popped up on my fyp (for you page for anyone who doesn’t know what that means) and it really caught my attention.
This is the picture:
This picture really hit me and I was like yeah, true.
Me five years ago would never believe I am who I am if you told her. She would’ve said you are lying and probably cursed you out and then found some sickeningly neon blue vodka to wash away her sorrows.
I am going to talk to you about how I got to a place of being happy where I am, thankful for what I have gone through, and excited for my journey ahead.
First, I need to take you to where I was five years ago and show you a glimpse (I can’t go into detail about the past five years because that would be the length of a novel) of the journey I have been on since January, 2016.
Five years ago I was 19 and in college about to be going on a trip as a nanny to Marco Island, Florida for fifteen days (I had no clue I was going to drop out of college weeks later and realize that I was gay a few months later. This time in my own condo in a place not near family and friends really let me have time to think about my life and what I wanted out of it. Sally, if you are reading this, thanks for trusting me to come on that trip because it truly changed my life. Lord help my soul if I was a fricken lawyer right now.) I was not interested in my classes and most of the time I would drive to campus, get of out of my car, start heading to class, and panic halfway to my classes. I would go back to my car and drive around until my classes were done, so my parents wouldn’t know I was skipping, and listen to music to try to make myself feel better.
I was barely sleeping, watching a lot of tv, drinking a lot, eating things that could be left out for years and wouldn’t look any different, and trying to figure out who I was.
I felt like I was constantly letting myself down, letting my friends down, letting my parents down. The only two things I felt good at were nannying (I have always had a special talent with kids and I love them so much. When I was at work I was always responsible. I was living two lives at this point; party girl and responsible childcare person. Not sure how I managed this but I really did.) and being a disappointment.
I felt like I knew everything and also nothing. I was cocky but not confident. I was searching for likes on social media to feel better about myself. I knew I didn’t want the future I was going to school for, but I didn’t know that I could make my life look any different. I wanted it all to end. (I just went back to look at pictures from that time and it brought me down a rabbit hole of pictures I am not proud of and left me thinking “Who is she??!!! I do not know that person. Is that really me?”) That is the one thing I was sure of.
When I was at this point in my life really the only way to go was up, yet, I continued on with this lifestyle and fell a bit deeper into partying until just after I turned 21. That’s when something clicked in my brain and I was finally ready for a change. I got sober. From there I went vegan to further help my body become healthier and that snowballed into other decisions that led to the betterment of myself.
Over the last five years I have learned to say no. I have started to do things for myself. I found work that makes me happy. I got an education for something I find important. I started to share my story online. I have practiced being more patient and understanding (still a work in progress because sometimes I am quick to react to things). I have worked on being more vulnerable. I started actually moving my body for health benefits and not to torture it. I have changed who I surround myself with. I started getting rid of many objects in my life and began living more minimally.
In the past five years I have learned and done many things but the biggest life lesson I have learned is you need to love yourself. You come first. There is only one you and you only get one life. Treat yourself right; treat your body right; do what you want to do; wear what you want to wear, and never never never apologize for being you.
I have done things over the past five year I never thought I would do. I never could’ve imagined I would be where I am today and I have grown a lot but it did not happen overnight. It happened one step at a time with patience.
Every journey begins with one step.
I am grateful for the last five years, proud of where I am, and excited to see where I will be in five years. I know I have lots of learning to do.
You are on your own journey, and if you feel like your journey is about to begin I encourage you to take that first step.
Until next time,