Live Fearlessly, Even When It Isn't Your Best Life

Live Fearlessly, Even When It Isn't Your Best Life

Be proud of who you are. Every part of who you are.

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This past December, just like every other December, I was asked to sing at church for the Christmas service. I was so used to it that it had become like clockwork, so on that Sunday morning, I woke up early to start getting ready. After brushing my teeth, combing my hair, and applying mascara to my lashes, I put on a black dress I bought the year before, pulled up my pantyhose, slipped on some heels, and went out the door.

When I got to church, however, I suddenly had a rapid shift in the mental state. I went on stage to practice before service and attempted to sing, but words wouldn't come out. I couldn't even look up from the floor. I ran off stage and sat down, trying to be as calm as possible as I explained to my dad that I needed him to sing without me. He didn't understand why my mood seemed to change out of the blue, and I didn't know how to explain what I was feeling.

As I was standing up there, all I could think about was how my dress and pantyhose were much more snug on me than they were a year ago. I was thinking about how when I open my mouth, I get a double chin and how when I smile, my chubby cheeks are all I seem to notice. I was convinced that while the congregation watched me sing "O Come All Ye Faithful," they'd be thinking about how the girl they last saw in August had come back from college with more than just another semester under her belt--she brought back enough extra pounds to need to loosen the belt a whole loop.

It's the same reason I'd been avoiding wearing my cutest outfits, shopping for myself, planning fun events, and taking pictures with my friends. I couldn't tell my dad that. All anyone ever talks about is how they're losing weight or improving their lives. How could I tell him that the semester I just had kicked my butt and I was feeling lower than I had in a long time?

These thoughts caused me to remember something a sorority sister of mine posted on Facebook a few weeks ago. She explained that she had a rough six months and that she didn't have an inspirational story to tell about how she overcame it... at least, not yet anyway. She said she wanted to put it out there, plain and simple, because it was the truth, and it's okay to admit you're not always feeling on top of the world.

This made me ask myself: why do I only let myself enjoy my life when I am at my best? Aren't I just as much myself when I am barely surviving as I am when I'm thriving?

So what if I made a batch of cookies and ate them all in 48 hours? So what if my face broke out in a place where it never had before? So what if I don't get a call back from a job I applied for? So what if a boy I was crushing on liked someone else?

The reality is, that's life. There will be times when you lose weight like a champ, and there will be times when no matter how hard you try, you just can't seem to take off even a pound. There will be times when you get up early and have a productive morning, and there will be times when you accidentally sleep until noon and miss an important obligation. There will be times when you cross off everything on your to-do list, and there will be times when you have to cancel all of your appointments to allow yourself room to breathe. There will be times when you laugh with your friends for hours on end, and there will be times when just the thought of socializing causes you to burst into tears.

The thing to realize is, those so-called failures are just as much part of who you are as are all of your accomplishments. You don't have to hide parts of you and put other parts on display. You should be just as proud of yourself for getting out of bed on a day where you feel like leaving your house takes all of the strength you have as you are of yourself when you ace an exam or land a new job.

You don't need to only love yourself when the scale says a certain number or your skin is blemish-free or your eyebrows are perfectly plucked. None of these things should stop you from going out fearlessly into the world.

Maybe you're not always living your "best" life. But that should never stop you from living.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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The Power Of Journaling

Slowing down in a fast pace world.

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In a world where everything is moving so fast pace, I have found comfort in taking small moments to reflect on the blurring images around me. I have always loved to journal, but recently I have found a system that works very well for me.

One habit that I have newly formed is creating a section in my journal that I like to call "Get Out of My Head." Life moves very fast and sometimes my thoughts can't keep up. This causes stress, anxiety, sadness and even the feeling of loneliness. I have created this section in my journal to be a safe place where I can just scribble down whatever is taking over my head, but there is a trick.

Like I stated previously, I have always loved to journal, but I never found ultimate comfort in it because I would go back and read what I wanted to remove from my mind. This was causing me to reexperience what I didn't want to. I highly suggest having a place in your journal that is essentially a flame for all th4e thoughts you want to rid of.

On the contrary, have a section in your journal where you love to look. I try and fill this section with happy thoughts, quotes, verses, and gratitude. This makes journaling and reading your entries something to look forward to, rather than not.

In conclusion, journaling is unique for everyone and it takes some time to figure out exactly the right way. But once you discover the safe place that journaling can be, it can change your life forever.

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