Know Your Self Worth And Always Believe

By Annie • November 23, 2017

I'm feeling inspired to write a post today as the cold Toronto winter is slowly trickling in. Since the Holidays are fast approaching, I think it's important we take the time to reflect on our selves, on our year, our accomplishments as well as our challenges, as we look towards 2018.

I think sometimes we get caught up in the fast life where we're constantly being pressured to perform better, compete with others and trying to live up to impossible expectations. Sometimes we forget about the things that make up happy, the passion and pure love we have for them because we unfortunately live in a society where greed, criticism and hatred thrives. It's that vicious cycle of low self-esteem, lack of motivation and inspiration, self-doubt and failures. Sometimes it feels like it's impossible to even see any success out of constant set backs and so what a lot of us do, is we run. We quit because we can't handle the pressure. We think quiting is the only option.

But... what if I told you that quitting isn't the only option? What if I told you that perverseness and hard-work can get you anywhere you dream and you'll one day be truly happy? Would you believe me?

The thing about that is it's also a quite naive idea because nothing in life comes easy. Nothing in life is ever linear. We're trained and educated to think linearly. But that's not reality.

In truth our lives and the world we live in is so nonlinear it sometimes feel we're being thrown in different directions.

The past two years of my life have definitely been the hardest but my outlook on life has completely changed, and for the better.

After losing my dad to stage four lung cancer, I've met and heard stories from people alike and people different all with different perspectives, experiences and ideas. But what made every single story and person so empowering was the idea that in spite of tragedy, loss or hardship, the power of the human spirit and the inner strength and resilience that can be built amazed me. I no longer looked at myself as a lost cause. As someone not worthy of love or happiness. Grief didn't define or control my life. I didn't have to be ashamed of who I am.

My dad died when I was in middle school. I was going through puberty and experiencing so many new and overwhelming things for the first time in my life and that combined with his death, made me very fragile and vulnerable. I struggled with wanting so bad to be normal but trying to grasp that this was reality and the hard challenge of coping with this loss.

My dad was my best friend. Whenever I was unsure or sad, he always reassured me. He never let me give up. He was always by my side, supporting and believing in whatever I did.

After he died, I no longer had someone to reassure me. To wipe away my tears. To push me to keep going. And so I stopped. I stopped believing in myself and eventually I didn't want to be alive. I was stuck in a vicious cycle of fear, pain, anger, sadness and isolation. My anxiety and depression began to eat me alive. I couldn't get out of bed in the morning. I couldn't sleep at night. I picked away at every thought and every emotion, so overwhelmed I went numb. I was scared. Everything at home was different. My family slowly fell apart. We all lost a little bit of ourselves.

And so my journey to healing and self-discovery began. It took so many social workers, counselors, compassionate teachers, friends, a camp and many tears later to realize that I still had a life worth living. The amount of support I received from the community around me helped me to turn my life around.

And trust me it hasn't been easy and I know that I still have so much more to discover and grasp about my loss. But I got a whole lifetime and heck if I learned this much in two years I wonder where I'll be 10 years from now. And yes, if you haven't noticed already I am a dreamer. I am a hopeful and very cliche person but all that I'm sharing is from experience.

Now I have a platform where I share my story publicly and in online posts and articles like these. Sharing my story has given the the power I thought I never had before. Through this, I have been able to connect and inspire so many people who always bring smiles to my face.

And finally, I simply just want to live. Live to finish school, follow my dreams and be apart of change in the world. I want anyone out there who may be struggling, I want you to know that you have a purpose. There is only one of you and your uniqueness is what makes you beautiful. You don't have to conform to society's social norms and stereotypical boxes. You don't have to feel pressured be like anyone else or live up to any standards. You set the standard and the goal for yourself. You know your ability and limitations and don't ever let anything hold you back.

Lastly, remember your story and your voice matters. I'll leave you with this question: Now, what will your story be?


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