I’ve been all over the place emotionally lately. Constantly fighting to find my general mood..
I’ll be good. Around my friends. Around my family. Keeping myself as busy as possible.
Then something will hit me. I’ll hear a song or accidentally click something that just brings back all these memories I wish I could just forget as quickly as I thought about them.
Uncontrollable questions literally consume my entire mind.
Why me? What did I do? Did I say something? Did you mean what you said? Did you have to do this to me? To us…? What’s wrong with me?
I don’t even want to know the answers to these questions. They eventually shift to anger..
Where the hell did my happiness go? You know, I used to feel bad for people who have done me wrong in any way, because I see through their anger and pity them for what they go through internally. But the person I began to feel sorry for the most is myself.
One thing about me that people who know me understand is.. No matter if the characters of the people around me change, my character never does. I will always remain the same caring, loving person who sees people at their best. Sometimes this leaves me at fault, but I would much rather see people with my optimistic lenses than anything negative.
I guess what I’m trying to say is thank you.
Thank you to anyone who made me feel like I’m inadequate for whatever reason. My hair isn’t long enough, my gestures aren’t good enough, I don’t dress the way she does, whatever. Thank you. I’ve learned the hard way that your opinions of me can never amount up to the thoughts I think of myself. I’ve learned I will forever fall short if I set my own standards to those around me.
Thank you to anyone who blamed me for their own wrongdoing. I’ve learned that if ANYONE has the audacity to get mad at you for removing yourself from toxic situations to better yourself as a person, adds absolutely no value to your life whatsoever. Exit stage left.
Thank you to anyone who hasn’t loved me the way I love them. I’ve learned reciprocity is something that likes to get overlooked, but is beyond important. I’ve learned our society likes to idolize everything from hashtags (#relationshipgoals) to categorizing women in a “main chick” to “side chick” order, and this is wrong. I’ve learned that not everyone who is good to you for a certain amount of time, isn’t necessarily good for you. I’ve learned my love deserves to be cherished and not everyone deserves to experience it.
Thank you to anyone who has doubted my ability. I’ve learned how much of a fighter I am, and that giving up on anything I set my mind to is never an option.
Thank you to everyone who showed me their true colors, later than I needed to see them. I’ve learned to not fall in love with people’s potential. I’ve learned the hard way, plenty of times, that second, third, and fourth chances don’t deserve to be given. I’ve learned that the best apology is actual changed behavior. And I’ve learned I deserve better.
Thank you to anyone who took advantage of my giving personality. Although I’ve been the person to say, “I’m never going to do things for people anymore,” I realized that I’m not going to change who I am because someone doesn’t see the woman I am.
More importantly, thank you to everyone who made me forget my worth at times. It was those times I felt the lowest. But, even in that dark tunnel, there’s a light at the end. I learned I had to find that light for myself, and not rely on you to be that light. I realized I’m not at loss for “losing” people like you, but it’s the other way around. I’m starting to see myself and see the value and motivation I can add to those around me, and anyone who backfires with not giving me the same does not determine my worth. I learned God made absolutely no mistake with me – my appearance, my character, my likes, dislikes, everything. I deserve to be held as highly as I see the people around me.
I’ve always been a “consequence” type of person when it comes to learning through experiences. I had to go through it to really realize the raw, uncut ugliness that is in this world. It’s never about how cold this world is, though. But about how you react to it.
So, thank you. I’ve learned more about myself than I ever thought I would because of you all. Through these hard experiences, I’ve lost myself. Cried. Beat myself up over this. Lost my sense of self worth. Never saw myself the same. But it was after these dark times that made me really realize I only continue to add to this cold world if I continue to see myself the way others see me. I’m not all the way together, and I don’t plan to ever be. I want to constantly continue to work on myself. Progress, always. But one thing I promised myself is to take people’s treatment towards me as a lesson to better myself in any way possible. I know that I can offer beauty to relationships, people, and the world around me. It’s only a matter of me putting my own potential to use. For the first time in my life, I’m taking time to work on MY potential, rather than trying to set goals for people around me because I see them higher than they do. It’s okay to be selfish, and we all should be at some point in order to become the people God created us to be. I will still have this loving character about myself, that will want to push the people around me to their full potential. And I won’t ever change who I am because people don’t know how to appreciate what’s in front of them. My prayer list will just continue to grow, and so will my own list of things to work on.
“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” Proverbs 31: 29-31 (NIV)
-Keilani M Afalava