Live in Your Own Skin

You deserve happiness. You deserve success, whatever that looks like to you. You deserve good friends and a great love.

Here’s what took me 30 years to figure out about being successful, successful, deserving:free post-it

I’m the only one who truly knows what happiness feels like. No one else lives in my skin. For most of my life, though, I borrowed from other people’s happiness, not ever really feeling my own.

And when those people were sad or when they hurt me, I didn’t have anything left because I never really knew what I needed to make me happy.

Then the sadness would take over. And the hurt became immense.

So I numbed myself with things that gave an artificial happiness. I did the usual stupid shit–drugs, alcohol, reckless behavior. But all that’s fleeting. When the high wears off and the buzz becomes a headache and the adrenaline gets you in trouble, the sadness becomes depression. The depression becomes your core emotion.

I also did things I thought would make me “normal.”

I had sex with boys because that’s what girls do (so I assumed). I went to college because my mother and sisters never got the chance. I became an evangelical because they seemed to have it all together.

But the sex made me hollow and deeply broken. And I failed out of college. And the church tried to steal my faith and gave me wounds that might not ever heal.

I let almost 30 years go by before I figured out that no one, no experience, no tangible thing would ever MAKE me happy.

Here’s what I know now…

It’s better to feel the hurt and heal from it than it is to let it fester under numbness. When you’re numb you’re not alive.

It’s better to leave the mistakes and choices in the past. They change us, yeah, but they often make us better for having stumbled.

It’s better to be weird. Misshapen. Free. Normal is a fucking myth.

People will fail you. But some will help you find yourself.

Some of the chances you take will fail. But you’ll never have to wonder what life would be like if you took them.

Others might not understand why you love the way you do or dress the way you do or talk the way you do or work the way you do.

But they aren’t you.

And the ones who celebrate your life with you, the jewels of happiness AND the piles of shit–they’re the ones you keep around.

Live the fuck out of your life. Even when it hurts like hell.




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2 Responses to Live in Your Own Skin

  1. Dorothy Morris says:

    I think the most powerful statement here is “It’s better to be weird. Misshapen. Free. Normal is a fucking myth.”! We’re all just us. Be you.

    • Clean White Canvas says:

      Thanks for the encouragement, Dorothy. The more I’m “me,” the less I care about “normal.”

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