I came across this poem I wrote when I was in a dark place in my life, and it really forced me to stop and appreciate just how far I have come in the past year:
I secretly cry a river of tears,
I secretly hide my innermost fears.
I secretly sleep alone everynight,
I secretly live in a world full of fright.
I secretly hate what I see in the mirror
I secretly run when I should remain here.
I secretly want to be happy again,
I secretly want this misery to end.
I secretly lock all my secrets inside,
I know one day my secrets will have nowhere to hide.
Then the world will know my secrets and I will be free.
Free to hate secrets, free to be me.
I am finally free to be me. I am free to do so without hesitation, without regret for time lost, without shame and without overanalyzing how my changes will affect everyone else. My secrets are now an open book for all the word to read. I now cry tears of joy rather than sadness, I smile because I am genuinely happy, rather than to hide my pain, and when I look in the mirror I see an imperfect woman who has learned to love her flaws and fallibilities.
From the first breath we take, our first instinct is to cry and this is an emotion we carry with us for the rest of our lives. We cry when there is a bump in the night, when shadows play on our bedroom walls reminding us of monsters and bears. We cry when the training wheels are taken off of our bikes and we take our first tumble. We cry when our friends in kindergarten call us names, or take to new friends on the playground. We cry when we hit puberty and our bodies take on a form of their own making us feel like social outcasts amongst our peers. We cry when our hearts first get broken, the first time someone we love passes away, when friends move away, when we don't understand our parents, and when we feel like the world was invented as one big conspiracy against us. We cried because we didn’t know any other way to express our joys and our sorrows. I am taking back that emotion. I will cry out all the ugliness and pain that I have endured so that it cleanses me. Then I will dry my eyes and move forward on my journey, because that is what my life is really all about. Moving forward towards that which will make me happiest.
As we get older we grow within ourselves and inspite of ourselves. We feel things we can never distinguish, establish fears we can never justify. We laugh to hide discomfort and cry to reveal our joy. It's one big tumultuous ride through a tunnel filled with light and darkness. There are times we feel like no one in the world truly understands us and there are times when we find someone that understands us so well that we feel like we share the same soul. I have been lucky enough to take this ride despite speed bumps, road blocks and the occasional fender bender, and came out of it safely behind my seat belt, shaken but unphased, and I have a true appreciation for the ride. Now, it’s my turn to get out of the passenger seat, get in the drivers seat and determine my own destination.
There are no rules to this game. No procedures, no guidelines, no leader or mentor telling you what will make you happy. You have to make your fate, never let it get the best of you. We have to learn to be strong despite our hardships and learn to always stand firmly on our own two feet. We can never let others dictate our happiness because, forever is never guaranteed, and if you rely on someone else to make your happiness, what will you do if you wake up one day and that person is gone? I rely on me, I set my own boundaries and goals, I determine my own happiness. And by reading the words I wrote when I wasn’t in control of my own fate, I learn how to never end up in that place again.