They tell me that I will never be strong enough to fight them. I call them the voices. Fighting the voices in other people is easier than fighting the ones in my own head. I have gotten used to them. They have become a part of me. I have trouble imagining life without them, so I put my energy into fighting the battles within others. I pretend to be fine, trying to convince myself as much as those around me. I don’t want anyone to know how broken I am. “Fake it ‘til you make it.” That’s my plan. If I act okay then I will eventually be okay. Talking about what’s actually going on inside of me? No. That will just make it real.
But that plan didn’t work. With no one opposing them, the voices got louder. I started to believe their lies: happiness was a privilege reserved for people who deserved it, and I was not one of those people. I did not deserve to be happy or to enjoy things. I found myself wearing lenses that shrouded the beauty before me. I lost sight of life and its possibilities.
“Fly low and slow.” That’s something I always try to remember. It’s what my grandpa would tell me whenever we would say goodbye. He said it meant that I needed to slow down enough to see the view around me, to enjoy life. Recently, someone I love gave me a calendar with a simple assignment: to write something good about every day. Some days, I can write multiple things, other days I struggle to think of even just one thing. I’ll end up writing that I drank a glass of water because that’s the best I can come up with. But still, every day I write something, anything. A reminder that the good exists even if it’s small, silly, or invisible.
Stars remind us of a constant light. No matter what, we can always trust that the stars are there, even when we can’t see them. Sometimes the weight on your shoulders makes it hard to look up and you start to doubt if the stars are still there. Everyone else can see them, but why can’t you? You know in you that the stars are always there, but your head is too heavy to look up. You begin to forget what they even look like, and you wonder if you’ll ever see them again. When it’s too hard to look up to see the stars, I hope that you notice the beauty right where you are. I hope that you notice the flowers at your feet.
That’s my goal right now. To stop and notice the beauty around me, to live life right where I am, and to notice the flowers at my feet.