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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To High School Seniors In Their Last Semester

Senior year moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
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Dammit, you made it. The final semester of your senior year. You’re at the top of the food chain of high school, and it feels so good. You’re probably praying this last semester flies by, that you get out of town as soon as possible.

At this point, you’re calling teachers by their first names, the entire staff knows you by name, and you’re walking around school standing tall, owning those hallways. You’re convinced you’re ready to leave and move on to the next chapter in your life.

You’ve already experienced your last football game, standing in the cold in the front row of the student section all season long, decked out in your school colors and cheering loud and proud. That is, until they lost, and you realized you will never have that experience again. Never again.

SEE ALSO: What I Wish I Knew As A Second-Semester High School Senior

You already had your last winter break. Preparing and celebrating the holidays with your family, ice skating and sledding with your best friends. Those quiet nights alone in your room watching Netflix, taking for granted your loved ones just a few rooms away. Never again.

If you’re an athlete, you may have already played in your last game or ran your last race. The crowd cheering, proudly wearing your school’s name across your chest, giving it your all. For some, it may be the end of your athletic career. Before you knew it, you were standing in an empty gym, staring up at the banners and thinking about the mark you left on your school, wondering where on earth the time went. Never again.

I’m telling you right now, you’re going to miss it all. Everything you’ve ever known. Those early mornings when you debate going to first hour because you really need those McDonald’s hash browns. The late nights driving home from practice, stopping for ice cream of course, ready for a late night of homework. Getting food on a whim with your friends. Endless fights with your siblings. Your favorite chips in the pantry. A fridge full of food. Coming home to and getting tackled by your dog. Driving around your hometown, passing the same sights you’ve seen every day for as long as you can remember. Hugs from your mom after a long day. Laughs with your dad. And that best friend of yours? You’re going to miss them more than anything. I’m telling you right now, nothing will ever be the same. Never again.

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl That Enjoyed High School

Before you start packing your bags, slow down, take a deep breath, and look around. You’ve got it pretty good here. The end of your senior year can be the time of your life; it’s truly amazing. So go to the winter dance, go to Prom, spend Senior Skip Day with your classmates, go to every sporting event you can, while you still can. College is pretty great, but it’s the little things you’re gonna miss the most. Don’t take it for granted because soon, you’ll be standing in a packed gym in your cap and gown, wondering where the heck the time went. You’ve got a long, beautiful life ahead of you, full of joy but also full of challenges. You’re going to meet so many wonderful people, people who will treat you right and people who won’t.


So, take it all in. Be excited for the future and look forward to it, but be mindful of the present. You’ve got this.
Cover Image Credit: Hartford Courant

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How to Stay Positive During a Stressful Situation

Step One: Try Not To Explode

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So, if you are a close friend or have any idea of what is going on in my life right now, you would know that the girl I shared a room with at my apartment moved out and transferred to the University of Michigan. So she moved out of the room. However, I still have 2 other roommates who still share their room. And when we all moved in we signed a legally binding contract that states that we have to pay for 12 months and if we end up moving out that means that we need to find a replacement who will continue to pay and we need to make sure that the leasing office is aware of that as well. So that there is no confusion when someone else is living here and not the original signer of the papers.

My roommates and I, including the girl, knew that if any one of us were to move out that we would responsible for their portion of the rent. Especially since there were already plans of moving out at the end of the school year and seeing if we could find subleasers and such.

Everyone was under the assumption that as soon as that girl left she would pay the rent and she kept saying that she would have to pay rent in 2 places, the apartment here and her apartment in Ann Arbor. Except when it came time to pay January's rent, we noticed that her credit card information disappeared and we were stuck with a $600 balance on the account that somehow, we would have to pay. Except the money wasn't ours to pay. Yes, we still live here but her name is still on the lease which means she's responsible for her half of the rent.

As you can see, this whole thing is such a stressful process that it caused me and my roommates to be so negative and hurtful towards each other and ourselves and even including her. I mean we have every right to be hurtful towards her but it's like she is not even receiving our messages. It turns out she has blocked us on every single platform.

Even though her behavior is childish, we have to remain adults and positive. It might be hard at first especially because we didn't think that something like this was going to happen and trying to stay positive is that last thing that we want to do.

Whenever you're feeling like the situation is getting out of control, take a DEEP breath. Try to think about the positive things in your life and make sure that you pinpoint those before going crazy.

Another thing is to calculate your assets: good thing your roommate didn't kill you in your sleep because she resented you so much. At least you're still alive, be happy about that.

And lastly just believe: believe that God is on your side and will do whatever he can to make sure the right thing is done and in this case, it means making sure that we win in court.

Good things will happen to those who wait.

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