It catches me off-guard when people describe me as ballsy, a go-getter, out-spoken. Perhaps in comparison to some, sure, I guess I am. But compared to who I used to be? The girl who would say whatever she wanted and not care what others thought? The girl who would go against the grain for the mere sake of going against the grain? She was lost somewhere among the judgment of others, among being told she wasn't good enough and that girl - the one who really had no fear for living in the moment - became a scared shell of her former self, no longer willing to take risks, recoiling at the first sign of rejection and sauntering off at the first unkind glare.
I miss her.
It's exhausting living in fear. Afraid of what others think. Afraid of taking risks. Afraid of being me. And at the risk of losing friends, shaming family, scaring off new acquaintances, I'm done lurking in the shadows of What Will They Think? Because at the end of the day, at the end of my life, when all is said and done, I only want to be remembered, liked and loved for being me. The good parts, the bad parts, the abrasive, embarrassing, endearing and awful parts alike.
And for whomever that's not good enough, that's ok.
I can only be me.
And you? You can only be you.
That just means we were never meant to be us.
The Buddha is said to have prayed all night seeking enlightenment and wisdom, overcoming fears. For me, this is clearly no overnight journey. But I am determined to get that girl back. No matter how long it takes me to find her.
More photos here.