Monday, July 8, 2013

A More Personal Story: Ripping It Up

Hey, everyone. This blog started out as just a place to share my time volunteering in Beijing in general--my thoughts and experiences while there. I didn't expect that much would come of it; maybe it would just be a nice way to keep folks back home informed of what I was up to.

Then some things happened that shook me up, namely that I started really questioning what value I was bringing to the world, what I would be doing with my life, what I was doing with my life now. Actually, that kind of internal questioning has been going on for a while... the last five months, and then some, as in for the last three years.

Depression and Self-worth
I grew extremely depressed during middle-school, and it's stayed with me even now, when I'm in my early 20's. Although I am doing better now in terms of coping, I still often struggle with it.

Along with my depression came questioning of my own self-worth as a person--to the point where recently, I wondered what good I was if I didn't have an income (which I don't), or was contributing to society in a meaningful way (which I don't feel I am).

Something Must Change
When I realized I felt that I wasn't worth anything good if I wasn't working and financially independent from my parents, I knew something had to change. Because I believe that everyone is worthy as a person, no matter if they're a multi-billionaire or homeless on the streets. We all  have our own stories that have made us who we are and who we will become. But what good is that belief if I can't apply it to myself?

...Even if that Change is Slow in Coming
That's not to say that I've miraculously gained amazing self-confidence and can honestly say I love myself whole-heartedly. Because that would be a lie. After realizing how deep my lack of self-worth truly runs, I feel broken open. It's a revelation for me, because I thought I was doing pretty well. I laugh with my family, I joke with my friends. I've been called witty and a good-humored person. But now I see that it's all been an act--an all-too-successful one, as I managed to fool even myself into thinking that I was okay.

I want to change. I want to become a person who feels that she's worthy of happiness and love, and furthermore who's willing to go out and look for it around her.

I read a lot of blogs about self-development and entrepreneurship, both subjects that fascinate me. But I've realized that I haven't once, in three years of reading them, applied their advice, tips and tricks to my life. What good is all the knowledge in the world if I'm too scared of potential disasters--and even potential success--to apply it?

I want to be Happy
I believe that's not such a selfish end to seek. As a struggling Christian, I want to reach Heaven and see God's face, hear Him tell me, "You did good." As a person, I want to be able to put genuine smiles on other people's faces. And as me, just myself, I want to love and accept myself for who I am, cracks and bruises and all, a work in progress. I want to not hate myself. I want to change the voice in my head that's constantly playing, like a terrible, brainwashing broken record: "You suck. Everyone hates you. What good are you?"

And I don't just want to keep it to myself. I want to be able to contribute to the world in a meaningful way--I want to be remembered for positive contributions, not forgotten immediately and remembered regretfully in passing as, for example, a girl with a lot of potential but no guts or good deeds to back it up.

I'm tired of acting happy and put-together all the time. I'm tired of being afraid of what people will think of me when I say, "I have depression," or "I feel like I've been set-back life-wise today,"--because honestly, if they're not willing to even try to see past my surface faults to the real, live, flesh-and-blood-and-heart-and-soul person that is ME, they're part of the problem I'm facing, not part of the healing process.

This blog is probably going to be less about volunteering and take a turn towards the real me... what I'm feeling, the good and the bad. How I'm coping with it (or not). My hopes, and what I'm doing to work towards making them a reality, even if it's in baby-step increments.

Because I'm tired of lying in the dirt and allowing myself to beat myself down.

I'm scared, quite honestly. I'm scared of hitting the "publish" button for this post. I'm scared that I will fail at becoming someone others can rely on and trust and love.

But I also know that I'm close to breaking. That if I don't say this now, I might never say it at all, and continue living out a pleasing (to others) masquerade.

I'm going to try.

I won't have all the answers right away.

I will have days I want to give up.

I will have days when I feel on top of the world.

And I will be learning about how to help myself grow as a person... and hopefully be able to help others as a result of that learning.

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