I Am Here.

Elena - Prairie Village, Kansas
Entered on January 21, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

Every single day I experience doubt. Doubt in myself, doubt in others, others’ doubts in me. Insecurity grows on people like the common ivy weed: some showing it more than others. The roots of my own stemming from teachers telling me I am not smart enough, peers telling me I am not pretty enough, coaches telling me I am not strong enough, family telling me I am not good enough, and on. Soon enough that doubt takes hold of life.

Most painfully, I remember what I suffered through because of that doubt. Binging and purging away the essential nutrients of life. Always despairing at my embarrassingly obvious stupidity. Crying at my own image, a reflection of a stranger. Ashamed of my nature. Punishing myself by running, running nonstop as an act of contrition. Those weeds took hold of my heart attempting to suffocate the life out of me, proving the quote “If you don’t control your mind, someone (or something) else will.” I let those weeds get out of control and I know it.

There are still days when life gets tricky and the thorns begin to prick but by now I am sick of others making me feel sorry for myself and I am done trying to prove myself. Maybe I am ignorant, maybe I am modest, maybe I am weak, and maybe I am wild but I AM FOR SURE UNAPOLOGETIC because I am growing. Every day presents innumerable opportunities for me to learn and I am done letting my insecurities get in the way of that. I am proud of my faults because they are a part of me, they are what make me human, and remind me that I am normal. Like my scars, my failures provide a history of where I have been and what I am reaching for: not perfection but improvement. Yes I have fallen on my face again and again and suffered the humiliation. But look. I am here. It was a fight but I survived and I have grown just like I promised I would.

And so now instead of asking why me, I ask why not me. Because I know I can handle it. I am strong. I am alive. And in myself I believe.