Honestly, I don’t even know where to begin this time. I guess I’m supposed to say things like, “I hate you,” and “I hope your life sucks without me.” But let’s get one thing straight… If that’s the type of blog you were expecting then stop reading right now because I’m not the same weak, defensive little girl you claimed I was, or made me feel like I was, back then.
Thank you to every single person I loved who ended up breaking me into tiny bits and pieces. Thank you to every single person who had horrible, heart wrenching, things to say about me whether that was behind my back or for show on your big, bad Twitter feed. Thank you to every single girl who made fun of me for my stature and told me I was too “manly.” Thank you to every single boy who didn’t respect me or my body the way you were supposed to. Thank you to every person who whispered about how trashy I am when I’m out in public. Thank you to the girls who isolate me because I’m “different.” Thank you to all the people that make fun of me because I don’t like the same cookie-cutter things that EVERYONE else on this planet claims to like. Thank you to every person who chose to participate in any of these things because you were too scared to be different and stick up for me. This list could genuinely go on forever, just like a lot of these things still do, however the only difference now is that I learned and got better.
I got knocked off my big girl pedestal for the first time when I was 16 years old. I cannot express the amount of pain this brought me given that the ringleaders of the whole ordeal were people that I was extremely close to at some point prior to the situation. I was in a position where I wasn’t even able to defend myself, and to this day I’m still so grateful for the ONE person that did stick up for me. Hazel, if you’re reading this, I love you, and thank you for being so fearless for me. This is for y’all who suffer from cyberbullying. What seems like something so small and irrelevant can really turn out to be a giant domino effect, and this was the first domino for me. At 16 years old, I was supposed to explain to my parents why these people had such nasty things to say about me, when I didn’t even know why they were saying them myself. At 16 years old, I was supposed to listen to everyone say “boys will be boys” knowing that it’s just an excuse people say to justify why boys do and say nasty things to girls without reason. Like I said, this is just the type of thing that lead to a domino effect of boys, and even girls, disrespecting my body and assuming all the wrong things about me. This haunted me for so long and I let it eat me up inside. But I’m 20 years old now and I just want to thank you all. You taught me that my body is nobody else’s business. You taught me that people are going to assume what they want regardless of how I look or how I dress, so why not go all out? Sure I still believe in modesty, but if people are going to think and say what they want anyways, modesty isn’t what’s going to protect you from hurtful words. Being confident in who and what you are is what protects you from that, because if you’re happy with yourself, then what people say won’t effect you. Lastly, thank you for making me who I am because I’ve never been more proud of the skin I’m in than I am right now. With that all being said, these same “thank you for teaching me ____” could easily go to every mean girl who put me down for looking the way I do, every parent telling their kid (just loud enough to where I can hear it) that they’ll kill them if they ever let themselves look like me, every person who isolates me because I’m so vastly “different.” Every single one of you all have not only played a piece in breaking me, but also played a piece in helping me find myself and putting the real me back together. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
I’m not going to sit here and act like these things don’t happen to me anymore. Boys will still “be boys” (whatever the heck that is supposed to mean), girls will still put me down for being and looking the way I am, and everyone is always going to talk. And if you’re wondering how I get through it, I let it all empower me. Not because I think “people are just jealous of me,” but because regardless I’m just happy to be here, the way I am right now. And when I meet the right people, they really do appreciate me. Am I aware not everyone has the same heart as me? Absolutely. Do I regret anything that’s happened to me? ABSOLUTELY NOT. I cannot say I was this happy with who I am prior to anything that’s happened to me, negative or positive. Opening up to this extent, once again, puts me in a vulnerable position, but I hope with all my being that this reaches the people it’s supposed to. If you’re out there wondering if you should wear that risqué shirt, if you’re wondering if you should wear the black lipstick, if you’re wondering if someone appreciates your differences, this is for you. Wear the shirt, wear the crazy makeup, make yourself known. If you think there’s no one out there that genuinely appreciates your differences, know that I do, and know that everything that’s meant to happen to you will happen to you. Make others uncomfortable with how comfortable you are with yourself. Fall in love with yourself BECAUSE of all the reasons people told you not to. Once again, thank you to everyone who let this happen for me. I pray more for y’all than I do for myself. And for those of you who are going through this, things get better for you the second you decide to be good enough for yourself. If you were waiting on a sign, this is it. Don’t waste a second of your life with resentment for those who made things difficult for you. You can never move forward with a heavy heart. There’s a new you ready to bloom and it’s exactly who you’re supposed to be.
With all the love in the world,