What I Have Actually Learned By 19

What I Have Actually Learned By 19

Growing into my womanhood has taught me so much.
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Coming into womanhood is an act of courage; to do so with both softness and tenacity intact requires a certain dedication to self-awareness and preservation. I learned in my adolescence that to become self-aware requires ample alone time and a willingness to confront the demons, pains and traumas that we may carry. Our healing depends on our ability to see into ourselves, to understand our patterns of coping and to listen to what moves our soul. Too often in the world, we are told to abandon emotion and conceal our fears.

True strength lies in the ability to be vulnerable and work through discomfort.

I often find myself reflecting on the words of my mother while progressing on my spiritual growth. She instilled in me values that have shaped who I am and that I feel blessed to live by. No child of my mother would doubt the power of love or dare to stop when things aren’t easy. In our household, the words that we center ourselves on are balance and faith. We understand that we cannot grow until we are in pain and pushed to our furthest limits. However, we also realize that recovery after such challenges is of monumental importance. Each of us is worthy of time to reflect and rest.

In times when our efforts seem to never be enough, we do all that we can and give the rest to God.

In my experiences thus far, I have come to learn my own truths about life. I have realized the beauty in the cycles of life and the importance of being open and able to adapt to loss or change. I have realized how critical it is to set pure intentions toward myself and those around me. I know that I wish to set out to live a life as undisturbed by momentary stressors as possible and rich with meaningful connected relationships.

I have learned that I needed to go to the places and spaces that I have gone in order to make it to every following chapter of my beautiful life. I have learned that we are all fluid beings, subject to change and that to rely on anyone other than yourself has the potential to rob you of peace. Kindness is not weakness, love is not plentiful enough, so don’t be afraid to give it and gratitude tends to make it difficult to be unhappy.

For those of us empaths and for the girls who fall in love too easily and trust too quickly, it is OK to feel immensely. However, torturing yourself with pleasing everyone, guessing intentions and waiting to be valued for your worth is not productive or healthy. You are precious, capable and worthy of receiving on the same magnitude that you give. Protect your spirit and move forward with a confidence that depends solely on your own love and appreciation for yourself rather than external validators.

Life is a gift and each day is another blessing. The journey does not owe us exclusively happiness; its beauty lies in how it asks us to do better and to become stronger with each test.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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My Body Is Not Your Conversation Topic

I'm not up for public consumption.

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I'm skinny. There is seemingly nothing wrong with that. I'm a bit underweight but I am healthy. My body does everything I need it to do and I take care of it well. There is a privilege in being skinny; I can shop for clothes my size relatively easily, my body type is represented in the media constantly, etc.

There's nothing wrong with having a healthily thin body type — women are beautiful at every size. The only problem with being skinny is that I don't want to be. I have struggled with my weight and body image for a long time and it is my own problem to deal with, but some days people around me make it worse.

Being skinny makes me feel small, insignificant, like a child. People say the weirdest things about my body and act like it's a compliment. In high school, I wore a pencil skirt to school and was with my friends in the office. An administrator came up to talk to us and commented on how skinny my legs were, then proceeded to gesture to her own leg and ask me if she could give some of her "fat" because I "needed it." It's funnier now but at the time, I was so uncomfortable and too shy to do anything but give her a courtesy laugh.

I didn't wear skirts for a while after that. Those kinds of comments make me feel seen in the wrong way; it makes me want to disappear. There have even been people who are bold enough to invade my personal space and touch me, then tell me — in amazement — that I'm "really skin and bones." It's weird and awkward and truly doesn't add anything to a conversation. It's actually the easiest way to get me to end a conversation, as well as a relationship, with you.

In a day and age where we share almost everything online, it's become the norm to discuss and analyze people's bodies. They're the ones putting it out there so we should be able to nitpick them to death, right? Wrong. Commenting on someone's body, size, health, etc. is never okay and should not be considered commonplace. I know I'm skinny so I definitely don't need anyone to remind me. The sky is blue but we don't point it out every day, do we?

Leave people's bodies alone. You truly never know what somebody may be dealing with in terms of their body image. And no, you're not entitled to know. I don't tell everybody who makes a comment about my body that I've struggled with my body image since I was 13 because they simply don't deserve to know. Don't put people in a position where they have to defend their own body.

I'm taking my power back lately and not giving anyone a courtesy laugh when they make a joke or comment about my body. Instead, I'm just telling them to shut up, and I encourage you to do the same.

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