There I was, sitting in my pajamas at a ridiculous afternoon hour, sorting through photos. I decided getting lost in the closet was a better use of my time than laundry.
I take a moment to study my face, my body language. Each snapshot brings back a warm memory, albeit some more hazy than others. My friends and I smile brightly as we celebrate the final days of our innocence. Flash forward through college, multiple out-of-state moves, a couple of bad breakups and an awful decision or two. Sweet Lord time flies.
I take a minute to examine a few particular photographs. I look happy. Silly. Sometimes ridiculous. (Why the hell did I wear that?!) I try to remember what we were doing and how I felt. Some days were amazing and filled with adventure, love, spontaneity and crazy shenanigans. Other days the lines blurred and the light in me would fade.
It all comes back.
The insecurity of not knowing who I am. The fear of the future. The regret from some big mistakes. The overwhelming frustration of battling life-long anxiety I couldn’t seem to kick.
This girl I’m looking at, with the eyes of her mother and sass of her father, looks like she was from a million lifetimes ago. I want to hug her and tell her to not be afraid of who she is. Her monkey brain will serve her well. She will break the cycle of unhealthy lessons she learned as a child. Her sleepless nights will fuel creativity and compassion for others. She will learn to love herself.
Sometimes it can be hard to really, truly love and trust our journey. It’s a tough road. Anyone who says it’s not is full of shit. Yes, we have good seasons and bad seasons, but if you throw it all into a crockpot, it’s a beautiful freaking mess.
We need to stop beating ourselves up. Comparing ourselves to others. Being ashamed or frustrated with our past.
I used to look at others and think, Why can’t I have their journey? It looks so much easier! Obviously this is all crap, and a dangerously unhealthy way to think. Not to mention selfish.
You know what I love? The insane personal growth that comes with acceptance. When we accept the imperfect, outside-the-lines road we’ve traveled, we can embrace who God created us to be. Trust me, I fought Him a long time on that one. Obviously I gave up and I’m in the passenger seat. I totaled my car long ago.
We must choose to re-frame our memories. Remember the joys we experienced and the lessons we learned. We must use the uncomfortable parts of our past as fuel to help others, whether it be friends or total strangers. We must also be thankful for the blessings we’ve received. Sometimes we spend so much time being bitter about what we can’t change that we forget key moments from the best times in our life.
So choose to love your story, and all the bumps and bruises that come with it. Trust and have faith in where it may lead.
If you’re not quite there yet, think of this…
“Life is way too short to spend another day at war with yourself. “ -Anonymous