BE by Faith Karrington (17)
As my first piece for Little Human, Big Voice, I wanted to make a good first impression. I spent days trying so hard to come up with the perfect topic to write about. Usually it’s just me I’m writing for, so I don’t think too much about how it sounds or if people will even like it. I really just write about what I’m feeling. So why did I think this had to be any different? I found myself getting stuck in this ocean of anxiety and I realized how insecure I was letting myself be. I was trying too hard. I was trying too hard to make this good enough for people to read, when I should have just been worrying about if it was good enough for me. And so, I found what I’d write about.
How often is it that you find yourself worry about how others will perceive you, comparing yourself and what you do to the people around you? Everyone is so busy trying to prove themselves that we never just stop and let ourselves be.
It’s okay not to have straight A’s and it’s okay to not know what you want to do after high school. It’s okay to like what you like and it’s okay to look the way you look. Take time to like yourself and take time to love yourself. Take time to sit outside and read a book, or paint something to put up in your room, or just sit and watch the world. It’s so normal now to be in a rush and to try so hard all the time you don’t really realize how easily you can lose yourself. The restlessness of the outside world can so quietly sink into you and consume you without giving you notice. It’s important to remind yourself that it’s okay to stop and be for a minute. Give yourself permission not to have it together all the time.
I know, just as well as the next person, that it’s easier said than done But something Iv’e learned is that feeling comfortable in your own skin – imperfect as it may be – is not an instantaneous thing. Even when people tell you to love yourself and be happy, it feels like you’re put on a timer, a “get on board or miss the boat” kind of thing. Let me tell you this: you’re not going to miss the boat. Life’s not going anywhere so take it at your own pace. Believe me, I’m still working on that.
It’s a kind of out-of-body experience, watching yourself get deteriorated by things so insignificant to your beautiful life. Jon Acuff said, “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” I try to give myself that same advice when I catch myself feeling less than. There’s always going to be someone you think is better at the thing you love. There’s always going to be someone you think is more beautiful than you. There’s always, always, always going to be something telling you that you’re not quite good enough.
So when the heavy burden of being a human gets a little too much to support, stop. Take a minute and stop. Stop thinking you need to be anything different than yourself. Stop thinking you need to be somewhere different than you are. Stop thinking your negative thoughts. Start thinking that you’re just right. Start thinking of the moment you’re in and how there’s only one like it. Think of the rain that takes it’s precious time to fall down on each individual tree branch. Think of the sunk that peaks out from behind the masterpiece of gray clouds to ever so gently touch the ground we walk on. Think about all of the wonderful things you’re going to do in life, and just enjoy the time it takes to get there. The boat will wait as long as you need it to, so right now, just be.