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Monday, May 27, 2024
The Observer

I will continue to be me

I don’t know what to call this. I guess it’s a short story. Either way, I was struggling on if I wanted this to be my final Inside Column, if I wanted to be this personal. However, I think if I can open myself up and tell this story, perhaps it will reach someone, at least one person who needed to hear this as well — to know they’re not alone. That would make this all worthwhile. With that being said:

There are times of exhaustion.

There are times of self-hatred.

There are times of loneliness.

There are times of regret.

There are times of quit.

For the longest time, I was afraid of what others thought of me.

If I was too weird,

ugly,

overweight,

unathletic,

stupid.

I still struggle with these thoughts to this day.

It consumed me inside, making me afraid of connecting with others due to not being confident in myself. Even in times when I was strong enough to put myself out there, I felt that I was always in the background, nothing more than extra cargo that if it wasn’t there wouldn’t be noticeable or make a difference.

It made me afraid of failure, to the point where I hated failing more than I loved succeeding… yes, there is a difference.

I went silent.

However, even with all these feelings of self-hatred and the urge to quit… I keep trying. I want to see what’s in front of me, to remove the X’s I put on other people's faces.

I want to love myself.

I want to believe I am not alone.

I want to break the walls that I built around me for so long.

Knowing that failure is still awaiting me like an old friend, I will no longer ignore it, but greet it. Not as an enemy, but someone I sometimes run into on the streets from time to time.

Knowing how scary the world is around me, I will no longer keep this dead weight on my head. I will remove it and choose to look ahead with courage.

Though I’m sure my worst days are far from over, I will continue to be grateful to still be able to experience another day on this Earth.

My heart may be tight from everything trying to consume me some days, but I’ll still listen to its beat because it is alive.

While the struggles out of bed may still linger, I will continue to get up on my own two feet, ready to take on whatever life throws at me.

I want to be happy.

I want to be courageous.

I want to be vulnerable yet strong.

While the path to healing never takes just a moment, I will continue to take one small step at a time.

When that day eventually comes, my eyes will be overwhelmed with tears, without the fear of being vulnerable and letting my emotions finally run free.

These feelings I struggle with may not vanish today or tomorrow.

But that’s completely okay.

I will wake up, stand on my own two feet and continue to move forward.

I will still be standing, with a smile on my face.

I will continue to be… me.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.