The happiest person can have the most pain hidden inside. I consider myself a benevolent person. Whenever I see someone, whether I know them or not, I try to hug them and give them the biggest smile I can because everybody needs joy in their lives. I love people, and even though some people have a lot of growing up to do, I still show love. I knew from a young age that God had given me the ability to love the unlovable and to encourage the broken and weary. It’s funny how I could encourage and show love to others, but I could not love or encourage myself during the rough times in my life. I could crack a thousand jokes and make people roll on the floor with laughter, but still, I was not satisfied with the reflection I would see in the mirror. This feeling of low self-esteem and discontent started in August 2019.
During the start of my sophomore year, I felt discontent with the current state of my life and uncomfortable in my skin. There I was, smiling every day and bringing joy into other people’s lives, but I could not even smile behind closed doors. I felt like I had to put on a persona in front of everybody and act like I had it all together. I felt like if I expressed my emotions openly, it was a sign of weakness, and I had a fear of letting my guard down. I did not want to be viewed as a weak person, but I wanted to be seen as tough, unbreakable, and full of life. With my struggle to put up a front, I have recently come to realize that the weakest people are those who fear to be vulnerable. I also learned how not to let people’s thoughts or opinions about me affect me.
I learned how to live in my truth and be the person God created me to be. I had to learn that there are seven billion people on this Earth, but nobody can ever be me. Being vulnerable in front of people can be intimidating at first because expressing your true self is an emotional experience, but what you must realize is that expressing your emotions could help somebody else heal from their hurt and pain.
I learned the following: DO NOT BE AFRAID TO BE WHO YOU TRULY ARE. Most importantly, SIS, IT TAKES COURAGE TO BE VULNERABLE. If anybody tells you that being vulnerable and expressing yourself is a form of being weak, tell them that it is a form of personal freedom and liberation from your pain. Day by day, I am gaining back my joy and living in my truth. Now, I can honestly say that I am happy and living my best life.