It takes a lot for me to admit to people that I’ve fallen apart. But that’s exactly what happened during this last chapter in my life. And I figured I’d share with you guys what I’ve discovered and learned from it all.
The past seven months (mid June-beginning of Dec) have been some of the hardest months of my life. I haven’t been completely myself; I started to lose myself to be honest. I was broken down and I’m finally being built back up again. Rock bottom has become a solid foundation on which I’m rebuilding my life. I’ve learned a lot about myself through it all; I know exactly who I am and exactly the life I want.
I’ve never been able to accept who I am. I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t feel like I had to hide parts of myself from other people. I was almost always afraid of rejection, afraid of being misunderstood, afraid of embarrassment. And it’s only because I’ve been rejected, I’ve been misunderstood, and I’ve been embarrassed after opening up to important people in my life. I’ve come to learn that not everyone is going to understand me or connect with me, and that’s perfectly ok.
It’s not ok for them to make you feel bad about who you are as a person. If that happens, you have to choose not to let that change you. You have to be stronger than that because I believe 100% that the world needs each and every one of us in a different way. We are all unique, we all have a purpose, and we are all important. I’ve learned to own who I am, fully. And it’s turning into the most freeing thing.
I’ve also come to learn that, in the same way you come across people who don’t understand you as a person, you’ll also come across people who will understand you completely. They’ll connect with you on all sorts of levels. And those are the people you want to keep around.
If there are people in your life who bring you down or make you feel like you aren’t good enough. Or like you’re insignificant. Or people you just know won’t be able to accept you fully.. Then get rid of them. I don’t care if they’re your friend or significant other. It’s not worth keeping them around and it’s such a waste of the person who you are. I know because I’ve been there.
It wasn’t until I took a deeper look at my past relationships that I had been in when I realized exactly how blessed I had been by them not working out. I thought about who I was during those relationships. Even though it wasn’t necessarily a “bad” thing, I wasn’t completely myself. I never completely opened up to either of those guys. I kept the most important parts of who I am to myself simply because something in me knew that they would not understand. No matter how well I explained it or how much I talked about it, they wouldn’t be able to accept it. I’m not sure how to explain how I knew this. It’s one of those things where you “just know”. Discovering this was a huge moment. It helped me to realize exactly who I want in my life. And that’s kind of a cool thing.
Today, I can confidently say that I will not keep anyone close to me who I can’t be open with. I won’t keep anyone close to me who can’t understand the most important parts of who I am. When it comes to the dating world especially- I don’t care how happy they make me feel or how much fun we have together. If this person doesn’t connect with me on every level, then forget it. I’m going to be with someone who connects with my soul in the deepest of ways and the simplest of ways, at the same time-I can’t accept anything less. Even though I don’t have this person right now, I’m going to wait for as long as it takes because I know that it will be amazing once we discover each other.
Something else I’ve learned is that God really is always there. He is in everything. Every situation and every moment. No matter how messy something may seem. He. Is. There. No matter how far you feel from Him or how unworthy you may be of His love. That’s absolutely crazy in the best of ways. God’s love for us will never change and that is something pretty beyond words.
Hitting rock bottom had brought me to a place where I was unable to accept any form of love from anyone in my life-especially God. My relationship with God felt dry and shallow. I didn’t know what to say to Him when I’d try to pray. I reached a point where I stopped talking to God because of how unworthy I felt to do so. I was unable to sing praise and worship songs for the same reason. I still believed in God and I still had a sliver of faith, but it just wasn’t alive like it usually was.
What got me through during this time was writing. I’d write out my prayer requests and I’d talk to God through my pen and paper. I knew He was still there, and I knew He still cared about me in the deepest part of my heart. During this time I never lost my faith completely. Sometimes it felt that way, but I knew not to fall into that lie. Fighting against how I felt and what I knew to be true was what saved me. Being stronger than my feelings doesn’t always come easy. Actually, It never comes easy.. At least for me anyway, but I know it’s something I’m capable of doing. It’s something everyone is capable of doing.
Another thing I’ve discovered is that I am a very independent person. And as I get older and live more on my own, that’s something that will become even stronger in my life. I don’t like feeling like I can’t do things on my own. I don’t like depending on people for all of my wants and needs. I don’t want someone to save me, I want someone to stand by my side as I save myself. I like to figure things out on my own, and yes, I know that’s not always a good thing. I know that this usually means learning the hard way, but that’s what works for me. That’s how I learn.
I don’t like to feel tied down and I don’t like when people “baby” me. Sometimes I need a good slap in the face (maybe not literally ha). By that I mean someone who won’t put up with all my crap. Someone who can be straight up like, “Yo, Emily, get off your sorry butt and do what you need to do!” Not someone who’s constantly like, “Aww poor thing, come here and let me comfort you.” Sometimes I really do need comforting, but most the time I just need some tough lovin’ from someone who cares enough to give it to me. I may seem all sweet and gentle, but trust me, there’s an extremely sassy and stubborn person behind that side of me who needs another tough person to balance her out.
All in all, I’m so glad this part of my life is coming to an end. I know that’s not technically the “right” thing to say, but I’m not about to lie about it. I definitely learned more than I ever have before during this time, and I can be thankful about that. But I’m so ready for this next chapter to begin. And, for the record, it’s just a coincidence that it happens to be the start of a new year as all these changes are happening in my life. So I just want to throw it out there that this isn’t one of those “new year, new me” things because I’m not about that life haha.
I’m getting ready to move to a new place, experience new people, learn in a new school, and discover even more in life and I can’t tell you how excited I am about all of it! Sometimes removing yourself from everything familiar is exactly what a person needs. Change is hard and uncomfortable, but it’s also good and very necessary throughout life. It’s in the change where you find your passion. What’s the point of living in our comfort zones when we can push ourselves and experience and discover so many different things? And if you’re sitting there, wondering if you should make a change in your life- Wondering if you should take that job, move to that city, start that exercise program, talk to that person.. Whatever it may be. Just do it (shoutout to Nike for being awesome). Seriously though. If I can do it, so can you. Trust me.
Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things in which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future.
The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure, The joy of life comes form our encounters with new experiences and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.
-Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild