“You’re a nice person, but...”

By: Martha Chavez

There are moments in life we remember with such clarity that they become ingrained in our minds. Sometimes they are moments of great joy, but most often, they are moments that, years later, still make us cringe.

One of these moments happened to me last year during my annual review at the small non-profit I had worked for the past three years.  After about an hour or more of conversation, I learned one positive thing about myself - that I was a “nice” person. But this trait, according to my supervisor, came with a pretty big but. “…but, you seem distracted and unfocused. You make a lot of mistakes you shouldn’t be making at your level of experience.” My heart sank to the floor. I felt embarrassed, sad, disappointed - I could feel the tears welling in my eyes. I’ll never forget it.

Four years ago I was officially diagnosed with severe dyslexia with ADHD. This means I can read over things I’ve written and never notice I switched letters (grammar and spelling being pretty important requirements in my field of communication). I have a hard time reading and understanding things. I am inconsistent and may have trouble finding the right words to express my thoughts and feelings. It also means I get anxious to the point of nausea when I don’t understand a task or request (which happens pretty regularly) or when I’m put on the spot.

Perfect job candidate, right?

Because I rarely talk about it, it’s easy for many to simply assume I’m a horrible speller who doesn’t check her work, isn’t all there sometimes and tends to talk in choppy sentences. I’ve also heard many people discuss how, for example, ADHD is made-up, or something people use to scapegoat laziness.

While my self-worth is always in question, I try remind myself that I am worthy, and that we all are. We each have something unique to offer. I believe we are all here for a reason and with a purpose. I’m still trying to figure out what I bring.

But I try to take things one day at a time.  I’m very lucky to have a small group of people in my life who love me, encourage me and believe in me (even at my worst). It is with their support that I feel hopeful that I can redefine my perceived weaknesses into strengths and that starts with being honest with future employers about exactly who I am.  

I’ve read so many encouraging stories on So Worth Loving - it’s a little piece of the Internet that comforts me. It makes me smile to see this community of strong individuals share their stories, and I wanted to share mine in hopes that others who might feel they way I do know they are not alone. This learning disability will not be the end nor will it determine my worth. If you’re struggling with something similar, know this: we might be slower, we might make mistakes, but we are good people who mean well, are smart and so worth loving. To your worthy life.

Am I So Worth Loving?

What does the phrase “So Worth Loving” mean to me? To me, it means that I am worth it. I am worth love. The act of, the feeling of, the constant knowledge that I deserve to know what it means to be loved and the worth I have because of it.

Today’s world is constantly telling us where we should find our value. It screams you are or are not good enough based upon your hair color, what car you drive, where you live, what college you did or didn’t attend, the job you have, the person you used to or try to be, or the things you can never quite achieve. But what the world doesn’t tell you is that none of that stuff actually defines you, it only describes you. Here’s the truth: you are good enough & worthy of love simply because you exist.

My whole life I have never felt completely comfortable with who I am. I’ve never been the pretty girl of the group or the skinny one or the one with a new boyfriend every week, or any week for that matter.  I was the loud joke cracking one who constantly put her foot in her mouth. I was the one who was like, umm I don’t think my wide hips can squeeze into that tiny spot, so I’ll just stand. I was the one who the boys stayed away from in fear of my older brother & because their eyes  were already gazed upon my “hot” friends. I was the one who felt overlooked. I didn’t always feel loved or chosen by those around me, & it left with me some lonely nights, tear soaked pillows, & puffy faced mornings. I was wrapping my idea of love around what others did or didn’t give for me. I felt unworthy of love because I thought my worth of love came from others actions & not simply by just being me.

Coming across the So Worth Loving family reminded me that I am lovable & worthy of it too. That I am all of me, & all of me is worthy of love. I am Abbey, a girl who doesn’t like her arms in a sleeveless top, doesn’t like that her real smile squints her eyes & rounds her cheeks, & who is afraid that her laugh that can be overbearingly loud & possibly obnoxious. I am Abbey, the girl who loves her long eyelashes that highlight her deep brown eyes, the girl who secretly dreams of being a white girl rapper, the girl who is quiet, anxious, & self-conscious, but boldly confident at times too. I am all that I hate & love about myself. I am all that others see & don’t see in me. I am so worth loving because I have a beating, living heart & that beautiful reminder is a good enough reason for me to believe it & live out that truth.

Don’t forget, you are worthy too. You are loved. You have value. You mean something to somebody & you mean something to me. You are you, & I think you’re beautiful & worth it just because you simply are. You’re not what you’re ex says about you. You are not devalued because someone abandoned you. You are not your grades or salary. You are not what you’ve done or what’s been done to you. You are not the secrets & rumors told about you. You’re not a number of likes on a smart phone app either. You are worth so much more than that. You are worthy of love. No one can take away your worth in this world, so don’t you dare let them. Stand your ground & firmly believe that you are worth all the love in this world. Walk in the truth that you exist to be loved & to give love. You’re worthy of it & you deserve it.

Brothers & sisters, know this truth in your soul & live it. Be it. You are so worth loving, & I truly, truly mean that.

Written and loved on by Abbey Kay