Dear stranger I so deeply relate to,
A new year somehow always represents new beginnings. That crossover/countdown is the moment the hourglass has been flipped over and it’s time to start again. Last year I ended off the year encouraging the people around me to stop obsessing over new year resolutions, and just focus on becoming a better version of themselves. Just like every other journey there’s a starting point; I don’t know what yours is but it’s time to get up and move on from here.
HERE – The Place Nobody Should Have To Stay
One of the hardest places to be is here, in this space where you can’t be anything but broken. Here is the place where we were excluded from the definition of beauty and many other positive connotations. We are labelled negatively and taught body hate/shame, humiliation, anxiety, doubt and fear. Here is the place we bought into the idea that big women only make for the perfect friend. They are so undesirable and irrelevant they seldom play the lead role, even in their own stories (lives).
MY STARTING POINT – Getting Up
It’s important and super necessary to reflect. Reflect on it all, good and bad. To take the time to look back on:
– what had you looking in the mirror and crying in that changing room
– those times you felt insecure because you looked nothing like ‘her’
– that inner voice telling you you’re unworthy
– the time he body shamed you during a heated argument
and all the amazing opportunities and people who have come and stayed in your life. Take all this information and use it to become a better person. Use it to decide where to from here.
MY PROCESS – Move On From Here
Apologies and forgiveness
One of my favourite songs at the moment is ‘Shame’ by Tyrese Gibson. He starts off the song by singing “I need your forgiveness and your mercy too.” He moves on to sing “I don’t want an enemy, I just want back my friend. I’m ashamed of me, I wish I never done you wrong.” The first time I heard this song it sounded so personal. It sounded like an apology I owed myself for every time I allowed people to emotionally harm me, especially for the times I harmed myself. I had to move past that.
“Shhut fat talk down”
I learned two important lessons. 1. The “shamer” (bully) is to be ashamed, and not the person they’re trying to shame. 2.The moment you publicly fat-shame yourself you teach the people around you that it’s acceptable. The jokes always seem funny until they aren’t funny anymore, until one day you believe them and you don’t know how to undo it. I had to make the conscious decision to stop speaking negatively about myself.
The definition of beauty is so personal. It is whatever YOU think it is and whatever that is, it MUST include you.
Surround yourself with the right people
We convince ourselves that it makes us strong and better people to always put others first. How can we possibly be better people when we are so broken? Part of putting the pieces back together for me has meant surrounding myself with the right people. People who are respectful and kind but truthful, people who support my journey and want to see me become a better person. The type of people who are smart enough to know a better me means I have so much more of the best to offer.
The best gifts I received were the strength and wisdom to move on from here, the place nobody should have to stay. My journey has been anything but easy but it’s worth it. You’re worth it. And as we quickly move into the month of love (February) my hope is you focus on the love that’s most important, SELF-LOVE. Allow that to be your theme for 2017.
P. S If the words in this letter lifted off the page and shook something within you, it’s time to get up and move on from here.