Wow, long time, no write. I know it has been an eternity since I last posted but I just truly haven’t been happy with the content I was producing. I have sat and tried to write this piece for what feels like a long time but in reality, I haven’t been ready to write this until now. The truth is the last time you heard from me was when I felt it time to share my sexual assault story; while this past year has been one of the best I have had, it’s also been a tough one….
It comes in waves and much less frequently than it ever has, it’s taken me a long time to say this stuff out loud but the truth is I am a victim of sexual assault. What I am not though is defined by this. I am not Meghan, a victim. I am Meghan, someone who had a crappy thing happen to her but not someone who is letting it define her.
This past year has all been based off a simple yet important choice; the choice to either stay down and let the dark in or to rise up and fight like hell to let the light in. I chose to let the light in. I chose happy. I chose to let the love in. I don’t think I really valued the meaning of happiness until my world shattered that late September night and I don’t think I truly understood the love that others had for me until I realized I did need someone else; I couldn’t do this on my own. But sometimes, sometimes it takes those earth shattering experiences that bring you down for you to realize how much fight you truly have in you. For me, it took a couple years to find my fight but I am so thankful I did. I am worth it. I didn’t deserve anything that happened to me. When I last wrote I don’t think I truly believed that but I do now.
My goal for this past year was to fall in love with myself, fall in love with my journey, fall in love with my life and to find what sets my soul on fire. I needed to love myself before I let anyone love me. That is what this year has been about. I became ok with that fact that I’m not perfect, but I am perfectly imperfect, something my parents especially my Dad always reminds me. I learned to stick up for myself, to not let anyone compromise who I am or what I believe in. I needed to learn how to put myself first, how to choose myself. I needed to learn how to stand on my own. Most importantly I needed to learn how to accept myself, including the darkest parts, a fact that I am still working on today. While I still have my moments, I can truly say that I have fallen in love with myself all over again. I have found what sets my soul on fire and I can honestly say I love my life.
Loving yourself means accepting the unknown, the undiscovered pieces of yourself, shifting and developing into the identity that is you. It’s okay to ask for help; there is no shame in granting yourself the opportunity to learn and grow. It’s alright to not know the answers to the questions others pose. To be indecisive, to be unsure of how to process your feelings, to not clearly label every inch of your soul, is perfectly okay, but only if you truly believe it to be.
The road toward loving yourself isn’t sunshine and rainbows, and it isn’t like the faulty self-love epiphanies you watch in thirty-minute sitcoms on your television. It is a lifelong journey. It is the brutal honesty with your demons at four in the morning ordering your wakefulness and bathing you in insecurities about the day ahead. It is finding enough courage to face your self-directed hate, even if it causes you pain because you recognize that there isn’t enough room to love yourself with so much pain bottled up inside you. So find that courage and fall in love with the unknown parts of your soul. Don’t be afraid to take that leap, it may be scary but I promise you, it’s worth it.