When Will My Life Begin?

     Let me start off with a few quotes from a movie that is dear to my heart “Tangled” and just perhaps you will relate to them like I do:
Rapunzel: [after leaving her tower; happily] I can’t believe I did this!
Rapunzel: [worried] I can’t believe I did this.
Rapunzel[excitedly squealing] I CAN’T BELIEVE I DID THIS! 
Rapunzel: [nervous laughter] … Mother would be so furious.
Rapunzel[later, sitting on a rock holding some water lilies] Well, that’s okay! I mean, what she doesn’t know won’t kill her, right?
Rapunzel[rocking back and forth in a cave] Oh, my gosh… This would kill her!
Rapunzel[frolicking around] THIS IS SOOO FUUUUUN!
Rapunzel[standing on a tree branch, head up against the bark] … I am a horrible daughter. I’m going back.
Rapunzel[cartwheeling] I am NEVER going back! Woo-hoo!
Rapunzel[face down in the grass] I am a despicable human being!
Rapunzel[swinging around a tree] WOO-HOOO! BEST DAY EVER!
     Have you ever made a choice and felt that roller coaster of emotions? Because I certainly have, and to be completely honest it happens more than I would like to admit. And it doesn’t even take a major decision for me to get to this confusing emotional state, some days I fall into it simply by recalling a memory.
     Do you have days like that?
     I admittedly was never the “popular” type of person, or at least I didn’t feel as though I was. Growing up I was outspoken, sparky, and wouldn’t back down from a fight. This caused a great deal of conflict between me and those around me, and I was the start of most of the fights I got into. With this came words of correction and reform from the grown ups in my life, and although I look back on my life and I appreciate the level of love it took for some to correct me even though it was hard, there are others in my life to simply repressed my outgoing nature.
     I began to seek out the approval of others and although it didn’t completely set in until my late teens, it’s still something that affects me each day. There is a constant nagging in the back of my mind if I’m saying or doing the right thing, and although that adds value in social settings, I have also been easily walked on because I refused to stand up for myself to those around me who have a stronger personality than myself. And as soon as a moment of conflict arises I go through a roller coaster of internal emotions that I have to deal with before I even am able to process the conflict I’m currently dealing with.
     I’m also the shining definition of the underdog. When speaking to men I find it hard to be myself, especially when I find them attractive. My fear of rejection kicks in and I clam up. But it doesn’t just stop there, I’m never 100% comfortable and even when I’m out of my shell, I can’t seem to be cool or as astonishing as my friends.
     A great deal of this could be my overbearing social anxiety that is a struggle to contain, and the constant fear that someone will find something wrong with me. I carry the negative words of people whom I don’t even speak with anymore, and I anticipate the same reaction from those who I have barely met.
     It’s paralyzing and it’s the scariest thing I deal with every single day.
     But here’s the good part:
     I don’t need to carry that around with me. I can slowly start to bury those negative words and opinions as I step forward into the unknown and exciting adventure called life. I’m proud of myself and what I have accomplished over the last few years. There have been ups and downs that no one could have anticipated, and I managed to conquer them.
     One by one, I conquered them.
     I couldn’t have done any of this without the love from family and close friends. I know that I have used their strength when I had none of my own. They selflessly gave me strength and encouragement that guided me through the darkest of days, and without them I’m not sure where I would be.
     I’m forever thankful for them.
     There are still a few mountains that I have to climb and demons to fight, but as I look back and reflect on the journey so far I’m filled with hope. Nightmares are replaced with dreams, and that suspenseful soundtrack replaced with a Disney medley. I know that there will still be some wrong turns and moments that require humility but that’s all part of being human.
     There will always be people who will judge me on how I do things, what I like/don’t like, my size, my hair, my clothes, my face, my voice, and so many other things. And though I can’t stop people from thinking these things, I can certainly love who I am and ignore their judgement.
     So the question is: When Will My Life Begin?
     Today.

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