It’s been an interesting couple of months for me. I’ve learned a lot, and I’m still learning, but one of the most important things I’ve learned is that I really want to spend my time with people who not just tolerate me, but instead, they celebrate me. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had my fair share of friends who put me down, and make me feel small. I’ve had friends tell me to “suck it up,” and to “just accept it,” when I came to them with what seemed like very real problems to me. I once had a friend put me down when I was feeling proud of myself for making positive changes. But then I got a job with some truly amazing people. Where I am now, I am not tolerated - I am celebrated.

I am loved for the things that I am, and even the things that I am not. I’ve decided to spend more of my time with people who appreciate all of the aspects of me, even the aspects that need (a lot of) work.

I’m also learning that I’m allowed to feel the way(s) that I feel, no matter how contradicting it may seem. In times of big change, it’s hard to trust how you feel because it’s such a complete paradox. I’m lazy, yet I’m motivated. I feel strong, yet I feel vulnerable. I am small, but I am so very big. I am loud, but I also speak in a whisper. I am a giant, however I’m still just a person. And sometimes you wonder, how can I be both happy and sad at the same time?

But I’ve realized something, and I’ve been calling it ‘humanity’. We are human. In the best, most interesting ways possible. We have the ability to feel multiple, contradicting feelings all at the same time. And THAT is what makes us who we are. We all have our stories inside of us, the pieces to the puzzle that makes us who we are. I am completely allowed to feel the way that I feel, and everything that I feel is completely valid. It is my truth.

With every new day comes new lessons, and I’m learning that I should not apologize so much. This is a really hard concept for me to implement, I’ve spent my whole life apologizing. Apologizing for my feelings, my thoughts, my opinions and basically my presence in the world.

Which, when you think about it, doesn’t promote self worth.

I’ve been making myself smaller to fit into these pegs for the world, for society, for my peers. I’ve been coerced into apologizing when I knew that I was right, and I’ve been guilted into apologizing for my feelings when they were completely logical and valid. 

I see now, though, that apologizing for feeling something is, in a way, diverting ownership. It’s saying, “I only feel this way if you’re okay with it.” This type of mentality does not promote confidence in ones self or personal ownership of feelings.  And I should own my feelings, opinions, and thoughts. Stand up for them, and myself in the process. I’ve bitten my tongue far too many times in the past couple of years, to simply “keep the peace” and to not “rock the boat.” But I think that I do want to rock the boat. My opinions matter, and it matters to me whether or not I express myself.

Keeping quiet about the things that matter to you does no good. No good can come from keeping your mouth shut. Silence is basically the same thing as consent, or compliance. I don’t want to wake up one day and realize that I never said anything worth actually saying.

I don’t want to be a bystander. I don’t want to be the person who stands on the sidelines and says, “Oh, I’m sure someone else will say something.” Maybe I am the someone who needs to say something. I feel like I am.

  • Please do not surround yourselves with people who make you feel like you’re not allowed to feel the way that you feel. Don’t let people around you belittle your accomplishments, no matter how small they may be.

If you’re proud of yourself for getting out of bed this morning, you BE proud of that! Surround yourself with people who celebrate you! If you’re feeling good about yourself today, take a selfie, tell a friend, write about it! Own your feelings, your opinions, your morals. Hold them close to your heart and learn to stand up and say something when you’re not okay with it. Eventually people will start to stand with you, and we could very well have a self love revolution on our hands.

Written and loved on by- Tara Jean