“I no come this life to suffer.” – Tiwa Savage

I wish I had this mindset earlier on. I’ve been having some crazy mood swings lately, shifting in between agony and euphoria. That back and forth is really exhausting. I’ve been thinking life is meaningless again, really wanted to hurt myself. But the other day while I was bawling my eyes out I drew a smiley face on my wrist. Weirdly enough it did help me feel better. It was a big round face with small eyes and a wide smile. It wasn’t so much the smile as it was what it meant to me. It meant that someone, me, didn’t want me to hurt myself. And so I didn’t.

I’ve been growing recently, well for a while now. I’ve been thinking that I really hate who I am and where I am in life. The truth is the only reason I feel that way is because I’m in pain. But I think it’s about damn time I acknowledge what I’m truly doing for myself. It’s akin to physical therapy. It hurts like HELL. It almost makes you mad because it hurts so bad. It would be so easy to stop so that you’re not hurting yourself. But actually that pain leads to healing.

I’m not healed yet. I’m in the middle of learning to use my body again. I’m in the middle of the aches and pains. But I’m doing all this work and all this introspection, not because I love to dwell on pain and waste my time, but because that’s the only way that I’ll grow into a person of my own.

When I was young I imagined success to mean a big job. I imagined everything was riding on my intelligence and my ability to have a career. By now I’d be in college. So put together and emotionless and organized. I’d have my life figured out all the way right till the end. Now I’m a unstable wreck. But That’s not exactly the case. Because I am growing into someone with feelings. Someone who will be able to handle their own and others. Someone who is setting this in the balance and finding out what actually matters to her. Helping others, creating things. Someone who is good enough not to look down on others. Someone who is finally understanding the value of feelings and kindness and patience. I think in the end I will be better for having learned these things.

I want to learn more about where I come from to know who I am and where I’m going. I want to strip my mind of the things I’ve been taught and learn new things. Beautiful things. Gain real understanding. And that always hurts but I want to know anyway. I don’t want to die while I can only see the bad. I won’t let myself die full of hate and misunderstanding.

I’ve lost God. Now I’m trying to find God again so I can live a life that is good. I have been through heart break and I am scouring the wreckage to find what valuable lesson is there. I am looking at my body and my heart and my mind. I am pulling out every ugly thing. I am teaching myself to look at it and say: You’re actually OK. There’s nothing wrong with you. I don’t hate you. Even if it’s not the truth. And I’m doing that for future me. So that when she looks at her outside and her inside she sees all the work I put there. All the hours I spent building her up. She’ll see that and she’ll remember that I love her and that she should love herself as well.

I’m dealing with my childhood traumas. Not done with any of it yet but I’m headed right at it and I’m not stopping. I am saying if you need to cry you can. I am saying you don’t ever have to please anyone again. I am saying if they love you then you can speak your mind. I am saying you don’t owe forgiveness.

I am saying you can be sad about not having your mom and dad. You can miss him and hate him and mourn him. You can miss her and mourn her and learn her. You can say she had my eyes. No I have hers. You can say people took things from me. There are things I missed out on. YOU’RE ALLOWED TO CHANGE YOUR MIND AND YOUR FEELINGS.

I am saying that I did not come to this life to suffer.

I have suffered enough. But I won’t let the pain that I’ve been through stay pain. I will let it teach me the things I need to know in order to live.

Life will still be scary, probably forever. But those wounds don’t have to fester. I can clean them up and let them breathe and tend to them. I can care for them like no one else in this world. Raise myself up, not as I was but as what I could be. Protect myself and love myself and take care of myself.  I am my own mother. My own father. My own friend. I am myself and I matter. Like that smiley on my wrist. It’s a sign of my devotion. A love letter to myself just as this is, just as I can make my life. One long love letter to myself.

So here is what I know to be true now while I am not plagued with pain: I can be who I am. I can take as long as I need to be this. I do not need to carry my own or others pain on me. On my body. In my heart. Those aren’t things I was ever meant to carry. I can feel what I feel and have that be the truth.

So the truth is that there is pain and loss and betrayal and abuse. The truth is that there is also love and great tenderness in my life too. It’s in the fight that the women who have raised me have fought for me. It’s in the food and the laughs and the dancing to oldies. It’s in the way my friends tell me they love me. Because they do. I just need to believe them when they say it. And more than anything, it’s in me. It’s in the way I suffer now for my peace later.

I want to do more things now for me later. That is the greatest act of self love I think. And there is so much there for me to love, isn’t there?

I know you’ll read this again in the future. I love you. I wrote this just for you. I know that seems strange and you probably can’t remember what love feels like but it’s there inside you and me. I love you and that’s why you’re still alive.


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