I used to be the girl who was afraid to stand out. Who thought that being different was about the worst thing that could happen to a person.
I used to be the girl who wanted to blend in. I didn’t want to be invisible, oh no; I wanted to be like everyone else, indistinguishable from the people around me.
I used to be the girl who thought that being universally liked was a goal to strive for. Even though people tried to convince me that that was impossible, I was sure that I could do it, if I just tried hard enough.
I used to be the girl who thought that people would only like me if I tried my hardest to be likable. Be less loud. Less opinionated. less weird. And for god’s sake, less emotional.
I used to be the girl who thought that she was only worthy if she was good. Good at her job, at keeping house, at cooking, at being a wife. Not excelling meant failing, and failing meant being unworthy.
I used to be the girl who was ashamed. Ashamed of my past. Ashamed of my mistakes. Ashamed of what I said. Ashamed of what I thought. Ashamed of what I did and did not do.
I used to be the girl who wanted to fit in so desperately, I was willing to change everything about me.
What I liked.
What I watched.
How I talked.
What I said about other people.
It wasn’t working.
I was still me.
Boring, ordinary, vanilla me.
And thank God for that!
Because I learned that:
It is okay to be sensitive.
It is okay to be emotional.
It is okay to make mistakes.
It is okay to be loud. To take up space. To be uniquely you.
It is okay to unfriend people in real life. To say no to bullshit. To make the unpopular choice.
I’m a woman who owns her past, mistakes and all.
I’m a woman who isn’t afraid to love with all her heart.
I’m a woman who knows that she is worthy, shortcomings and all. My self-worth doesn’t need to be earned; nobody’s does.
I’m a woman who’d rather try and fail, instead of not trying at all.
I’m a woman who knows that the opinion of other people has nothing to do with me.
I’m a woman who knows that being vulnerable means being strong and that it will set you free.
I’m a woman who isn’t afraid to take up space. To be heard. To laugh loud and live even louder.
I’m a woman who has learned that being herself is the bravest thing she can ever be.
I’m vanilla, with a dash of spice.