I say everything that comes to my mind. I burn bridges when I am angry, but I always scramble to repair them. I get overly excited and pour my heart out to strangers. I feel intensely, but my emotions do not linger. I am reckless, and I act without thinking. I dive head first and hold my ground at the front line of the battle field. I break rules even though I know I will suffer the consequences. I do not believe in regrets, and I do not believe in fear. I am a wanderer; it does not suit me to be tied down to anything or anyone. I wake up every morning with a sense of wonder that drives me to do more, to see more. I am happy-go-lucky, the ideal partner in crime. I am an adventurer who gets stranded in allies and lost in the desert. I am an open book, which some people choose to use against me.
When I make mistakes, I do not cover them; I embrace them. I am wise, but I am still learning. I am complicated, but to put it simply, I am because I am. If I love you, the entire world will know it. I do not know how to love people, but I do it fiercely. If you wrong me, I will forgive you, and I will never, ever stop loving you. Because I am not the kind of person to let hate win. When it comes to me, love will always prevail. I am a lot to handle. Most people don’t know how to love me, but those that do know I am worth the effort. I may be too intense, too daring, too outspoken. But I would rather be too much than too little any day.
As 2017 is coming to a close, I wanted to express my immense gratitude for all the blessings this year has brought me. This year, I was hospitalized four times. I went from being a high achieving student to one who barely attends school. I lost several of my closest friends, and I have felt more alone than I ever thought imaginable. But it was in that loneliness that I found myself. I grew comfortable being in my own company. I learned not only how to use my voice to benefit the greater good but also when to keep quiet. Sometimes, we assume that the only way to deliver our message is to scream it for all to hear. What few realize is that this assumption comes from a place of insecurity. The truly confident person does not raise their voice; they speak from their heart, and messages from the heart are always gentle.
This year, I have been broken, and I have healed. I have met new people, and while some of them may no longer be in my life, they will always be in my heart. I can say with all of my being that the memories I have shared with those people will never escape me, for you do not simply forget the experiences that shaped you into the person you presently are. I have awoken the divine light within me, and I have shared it with all beings, near and far. I have left my nightmares in the past and manifested my dreams. I wrote a novel and a children’s book. I applied to college only to withdraw my application. I changed my entire plan for the future, and I know that it will likely continue to change. I doubted my decision, but all of my worries slipped away the minute I realized that I was exactly where I needed to be in that given moment.
This year, I have traveled to foreign places. I have gotten lost—physically, mentally, and spiritually. I have acquired new skills and viewpoints that contradict ones I formerly held. I have let go of toxicity and attracted positivity and—dare I say it—peace. I was put on a medication that worsened my depression and then another to repair the damage done by the first. I got off my medication and found stability in the midst of chaos. I adopted a treatment plan that works for me, and although the pieces of my life have not magically fallen into place, I am happy. I am happy with the person I have become, with where I am and where I have been.
Thank you, 2017, for giving me a run for my money. If you had not pushed me to my breaking point, I never would have become aware of my inner strength. It is because of the trials you presented me with that I know my worth and no longer tolerate people who do not respect my boundaries. So, here is my promise to you: I will carry your lessons with me into 2018. I will not let anyone push me around and shove me aside. Just you wait and see. Watch me transform my pain into beauty and weather every storm that dares to rattle me.
Within you lies the ability to move mountains, to redirect the planets, and above all, to change your fate. Nothing in the world is set in stone. Times are constantly changing, influencing all beings in the Universe—big and small, living and non-living. You have perceived your present reality as a cage that ensnares you. You have resolved that you cannot break free. But you are only as trapped as you allow yourself to be. I did a past life regression meditation once that led me to a cold, damp dungeon. I developed the overwhelming sense that I was unable to break down the barricade that stood between me and my freedom. I wandered about in panic, desperately scanning the dungeon for an exit route only to discover that the gate was left open. I was never trapped; I was merely misinterpreting my present reality. You, too, are capable of transcending your current situation, of emerging from the dungeon. Odds are, you imposed the barriers on yourself the minute you made a binding agreement with your present reality.
I tried to make peace instead of war. Did that upset you? Did it bother you that I didn’t react with rage, that I didn’t even shed a tear? I can’t say I’m sorry. No, I am not sorry for the way I reacted, for walking away instead spitting hate. I will not apologize for empathizing with you instead of fighting with you. I chose love. Today and everyday, I will choose love.
Go ahead. Try to knock me down and shove me aside. Try to kick me when I am lying on the ground and shatter every bone in my body. I will stand up unscathed, and I will not grow cold. There is no power on Earth that can turn my heart to stone, and there is certainly none that can disturb my unwavering sense of self. I will neither bend nor break. I will hold my ground. You will respect my space because it is mine. It is not yours to intrude upon. There is nothing you can say and nothing you can do to make me question my beliefs or doubt my position. I know what I want. I want to attract what sets my soul on fire, and I will not accept anything less. Does my conviction frighten you? Does my honesty make you squirm in your seat? Heed my advice: do not dare mess with a woman who knows her worth. She will not do as you wish. She will not throw her hands in the air and surrender. She will stand tall, dig her heels into the ground, and say, “I am alive, and that reason enough to respect me.”