You ARE Enough.
Growing up in Oviedo Florida and going to an A school was a privilege, and an experience I know a lot would be grateful to have. I had a small friend group with on and off friends throughout my teenage years. Although I’m not close with anyone I used to be close to back then, I’m still happy that I have their company to look back on.
Throughout that time, I really struggled with anxiety, stress, and on and off depressive states. I was constantly worried about how other’s viewed me, and I wanted to be a ‘popular girl’ very, very badly. It took me until my junior year in high school to say ‘screw that’ to the popular-girl mindset, but even after Junior year I still subconsciously hoped for that experience.
I felt, and was lead to believe, that since I’m a girl I need to CONSTANTLY be pretty and eye appealing, and that I need to be sociable, popular, and HAPPY ALL THE TIME. I got these cues through social media, T.V. shows, and everyday examples going to school: of course, all the ‘popular girls’ were smiling, giggling, naturally gorgeous, arm-in-arm with a cute guy, and going to small parties every now and then. I wanted that lifestyle, so I pushed myself into it.
Something in me wanted that, and something in me rejected it. I knew that I was more introverted, but I insisted on going out. I knew that I didn’t learn at a quick pace, but I still put myself in high intensive courses to show off my smarts and be one of those ‘smart-yet-funny’ popular girls. I kept juxtaposing my person with someone else, constantly comparing myself to what I wanted to be, and it just didn’t add up. It never did, and I always knew I’d never end up like that. But I still tried, which resulted in long term fights with myself, trying to meet someone else’s expectations. I would push and push, trying to look good, trying to get guy’s attention, all while just smiling through the self-inflicted frustration of it all.
I’m not sure where or why I was so dependent on other’s approval. I don’t know where that need cropped up from, but it was there, and it was driving me through the gravel. I always felt mentally exhausted, which is the result of falling asleep at 12am and waking up at 6am every morning to wash, straighten my hair, put on makeup and a cute outfit, then catch the bus at 7:45am without any breakfast. Getting home after practice, which ended around 6pm, find something to eat for dinner, then finally sitting down at 7:30-8:30pm and doing 2-3 classes worth of homework (either due the next day in class or due that night online) ranging from 30 minutes to an hour each. So I ended up falling asleep around 11:00pm to 12am naturally every night, and then back up and at’em at 6am.
I hated that, so I changed some things my Junior and Senior year. Since I was lucky enough to get a car my Senior year, I was able to work up my own schedule. Others I know aren’t that lucky.
My constant self-degradation and circulating self-perception made me extremely depressed, frustrated, confused, jealous, and pitiful. I wish someone had taken me on a small trip to a place where no one judged, took my phone, put me in a house by myself, and left me there for a month. Maybe then I would've lived for myself rather than who I thought I needed to be.
The main reason for this digress is to highlight that throughout this time, I really had nowhere to prioritize myself. Even if I did, I wouldn't have had the concept of it. I wouldn't have ever thought "Let's have a 'me' day, where I focus on my life". I constantly focused on others appeal to me, rather than just making myself comfortable and happy. I remember feeling extremely overwhelmed about my future and what it held, and would often quickly think about something else to avoid the reality of it’s lacking.
I 100% understand that it’s not entirely due to my schooling, it’s majorly due to self-inflicted circumstances and unattainable images I held for myself. Again, not sure where those cropped from, but they were the end-all for me back then….for whatever dumb reason.
Through reflection, I realized very slowly that I am enough. My body, my mind, my character, and my feelings are 100% enough. By comparing myself to others, I felt the opposite, so I stopped. By wanting to be something else, I forgot to be myself, so I stopped.
Looking back I really regret not realizing that sooner. I would have realized and forged my passion for writing and would have already written a book by now, I would have taken standard classes to make more time for volleyball and reading, I would have probably enrolled in UCF instead of Valencia, and I probably would have had an extremely high confidence level at this point in my life. Mine is pretty high at the moment, but back then it was the lowest it will ever be in my life. If I’d just realized how good I already was, and stopped trying to make myself someone else, I feel as though it would have changed who I am completely.
You are enough. Whoever you are, you are filled with potential and grace, and it’s up to you to turn the faucet on. Let your mind flow, the natural talents you’ve been holding back, let them release. Show yourself just how experienced, brave, and inspiring you are. You need to let yourself see that though, no one else is going to shine for you.
Breathe in, Breathe out. Look at yourself and see beauty and independence rather than your flaws. Pick up your talents, and use them for the greater good of yourself and your family moving forward.
Start a small business, make your craft as a side hustle, market your talent and work online. Optimize yourself through self care and awareness. Open the door to your own talents, and shine just the way you are. Because YOU ARE ENOUGH.
Hopefully this inspires you to really appreciate who you've become. I hope you realize how beautiful and sacred your life is, and I hope you start to enjoy yourself and your talents starting RIGHT NOW! Live life while loving yourself whole-heartedly.
Have an amazing day you all!!