I am a piece of shit.
Or at least I was. It took four years of intense work before I found the euphoria of admitting that out loud and to others.
Everything hurt. My heart, my head, my soul, my body. Up until about two years ago, I introduced myself as broken, damaged goods and deflected compliments of praise. It was easier to degrade myself so that other people couldn’t do it first. I was a deep-sea fisherman casting my hook for pity and praise, but ultimately rejecting all of it because I believed I didn’t really deserve it. I built an identity that suited my maladaptive needs and swept my real identity under the rug.
I’m a hippie, a beach bum, sunbather with my toes in the sand, and I would rather be a naked, traveling wanderer. I’m raunchy, inappropriate, and I use salty language. This is my true identity, my unshakable honest truth. I work tirelessly because it makes me happy and I need to feel accomplished. I build and craft and create; I am an artist. I sing and love to dance like a rapper’s girlfriend. I know a little about a lot and it makes me proud to be a constant learner. I love to cook but I hate to clean. I’m not a broken toy or a damaged good; I’m a vibrant, resilient strong, MacGyver, motherfucking bad ass. I am the ‘get ‘er done’ without the redneck. I love attention and am learning to garner it for the right things. I love connecting with others. I am accepting of myself because no matter where my head hits the pillow, I’m still waking up with me in the morning. I am spending my days standing up for myself and loving myself just the way I am, and I will tell you it is far less exhausting to be me, than to be the me I thought I was supposed to be.
But I wasn’t always able to embrace the beauty I now see in myself. I was depressed, self-hating, and lonely, even among my closest friends. And because misery loves company, I took that hurt out on everyone else, with no regard for damage, feelings, or long-term consequences.
I had a great façade of success; I prattled off buzz words about how I wasn’t the victim of circumstance: I was the hero. I played the martyr card and wore my own version of a thorny crown.
Only very recently was I able to come out of my own personal hurricane to survey the damage and start to rebuild.
And now, my truth is setting me free. But I know in my heart that so many of us are shitty people because we aren’t comfortable with growing emotionally; we haven’t yet learned how to embrace change and find our truth—and not the version we peddle as our own.
So, I ask you to read my story with an open mind. Learn from my mistakes if you can and apply my techniques as you see fit. Find solutions to issues you haven't been able to tap into yet and experience emotional growth within yourself and encourage it all around you. I can attest that this isn’t a one and done. Just as peeling an onion involves many layers, resolving your issues uncovers new layers that you must deal with eventually.
Take this trip with me—a trip that you can revisit by rereading whenever the inspiration strikes. Each time you dig in, take new knowledge from my story, my truth.
Can you dig it?