I marked the calendar on November 13th as the happiest day of my life. It felt like a lifetime of birthday parties combined into one day. The day started at the bank, signing paperwork. After an hour, this new business was officially mine. One awkward photo later and I was able to make an announcement on Facebook.
After that, so much love, so much support poured in. Phone calls, text messages, comments, likes. I've never seen numbers this large. I was the pretty girl at the prom.
Now obviously, numbers don't matter and probably half of these interactions aren't as genuine as I'd like them to be. But, for a second I'm going to ignore that reality.
Growing up I was always picked on in school. Moving around a lot made it difficult for me to fit into any social circle. I was also severely underweight so I was a target for bullying. Without going into too much detail, let's just say I was never really accepted by large amounts of people publicly, so I was always avoiding interactions with strangers. And even when I did, my guard was always up - waiting for the cruelty to occur.
During this time period, I spent a lot of time alone. The benefit of not having friends in high school was that I was able to spend a lot of time honing my craft. And like any boxer will probably tell you, when you're used to getting hit a lot, you learn to take a punch. It toughens you up.
Since school ended and my adult life began, my experience with people has been a lot more pleasant. There will always be remnants of those experiences that make me approach life carefully. But for the first time in my life, I felt accepted by a vast amount of strangers. I was instantly validated, something I wish I had experienced in High School.
It felt good.
Not for any artificial reasons. It felt good because I got through those tough times. I made it, I adapted and I didn't let those experiences break me. Just like moving in with my parents, just like every negative fucking thing I've had to go through in my life... I came out of it a stronger person.
And that to me means more than anything. Self validation in its purest form.
Good things happen, you just have to push through to get to them. Sometimes it takes over a decade, but don't give up. Don't let something defeat you. The human mind is capable of amazing things and I speak from experience when saying no matter how tough something becomes, it will get better and you can get where you want to be.
And then when those good things show up at your door, take a minute to reflect on them. Soak it in, enjoy it. Remind yourself what it took to get there.
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