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Finding Peace with Your Past

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One day you’re young and fun and can easily survive late nights and endless parties.

You have a tiny, snatched waist and every muscle on your body is taut and firm, including your neck.

You appear to be perpetually tan.

You can get a last minute invite to a 70s era disco-themed party and pull together a fabulous outfit from the thrift store without even the slightest consideration of needing to wash it first.

You sit amidst a sea of party cups and party pictures; delighting in such a busy social life.

But then you realize your grades are slipping. You realize that you are going out a lot and are perpetually hung over. You realize that you are searching really hard for validation from people and places on the outside.

You realize that despite being surrounded by tons of people — you feel pretty lonely.

You realize you have a few regrets.

Then one day you wake up and while you’re not quite as tan, you realize that you are worth more.

Instead of chasing other people, you start chasing yourself.

Then one day you wake up and while your waist isn’t as tiny, you have earned a PhD.

Then one day you wake up and while you don’t really go out anymore, you met someone. Neither one of you need anything — you can both live quite easily on your own — but you don’t want to. Instead of being together because you need to be together, you’re together because you want to be.

Then one day you wake and up and see two relatively grown people who resemble a younger version of you milling about in your kitchen. You see how smart, kind, and fiercely funny they both are.

Then one day you wake up and learn how to forgive your past and appreciate yourself for exactly who you are.

Then you blink, and wake up one day to the realization that your pants have never been tighter and you need .25mg of estradiol just so you can sleep at night.

Then you think about the perpetually tan, partying version of yourself and you suddenly appreciate her — being young and dumb, and sometimes careless is a luxury. It’s often through the mistakes we make that we learn who we are. We learn what we want in this life by experiencing what we don’t. We learn that the only one who can determine our self worth is ourselves. The only approval that matters is our own.

Then one day you wake up and are simply grateful. You put on stretchy pants and revel in the joy and greatness that this life journey (mistakes and all) has provided you.

Hang in there, y’all. xo

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