"You've always had the power, my dear,
you just had to learn it for yourself"
This quote actually comes from the Wizard of Oz. But, when I saw it, I feel like it completely describes the journey I've been on for over a year.
I've never believed in myself as much as I do now. I still have my moments of doubt but, for the most part, I've found so much confidence and self-esteem, it's difficult to remember not feeling this way. In fact, I don't really like to remember that kind of stuff. Don't get me wrong, I have wonderful memories of so many different parts of my life. I've been very blessed in life. But, I've always struggled with finding my place and having the confidence to believe that I belong in whatever place that might be.
I've had to look deep inside myself to find what was probably always there. I just didn't know where it was or how to use it. For so many years I was so lost in who I wasn't, what I couldn't do, how I didn't feel like I measured up to my siblings. Basically, I just focused on anything and everything that was negative. I think there were a lot of times I was looking for sympathy because it was how I got attention. I couldn't find a way to put out there all the positive things I have to offer the world. Probably because I didn't believe there were very many.
So, finding the power to be happy, to me, means finding the ability to be proud of myself, being able to show the world all of my amazing qualities and traits (which I've slowly figured out I actually have), making some great friends and being able to truly smile and know that there is happiness behind that smile. I wouldn't have figured out any of this without finding a few people who took the time to help me find the power within me. I've always witnessed from the outside what it's like when you have a couple of really amazing friends who will listen to you when you need it, tell you to shut up when you need to stop talking, and help you through difficult situations. I never really knew what it was like to have friends like that. Well, except for one or two (Kim and Mere, that would be you).
Renee' has said more times than I can count that she enjoys being a part of my adventure. That she's here to cheer me on. It took me a couple of months to believe that I wasn't just annoying her all the time. Not for any specific reason, just because of all my insecurities that developed throughout my life. Now, I feel incredibly blessed to have built such an amazing friendship with such a wonderful person. I've said it before, but it's the honest truth and words actually don't do it justice - I would not have come as far as I have without her guidance, support and friendship. She's shown me what it's like to have a friend who will laugh at you when you're being weird, can see when you're having a bad day and will talk to you about it, and just likes hearing about your life in general. She's pulled things out of me that I never thought existed. She's shown me how to look at life in a positive way, to take chances and challenge myself. I know I'll never be able to thank her enough - but I try with lots of random messages and helping her celebrate weird holidays that I read about on Google :) I believe tomorrow is Daffy Duck Day - just FYI.
This is a lifelong process. Although I know it isn't the right word, I'll never be "cured". I will always struggle with confidence and believing in myself. However, seeing how much progress I've made, how many positive changes I've been successful in making over the last 14 months lets me see that anything is possible. It helps me see that when you are surrounded by the right people and put yourself in positive situations, your life can change in ways that didn't seem possible a few short months ago. These last 14 months have been the most positive and amazing time period in my life so far. I know the future is bright and that I have the power to make that future whatever I want it to be. And I just know it is going to be fun, crazy and full of the best people and things I could ever ask for in my life.
The road to success is not a path you find, but a trail you blaze.